AWOL Studios in collaboration with Comme Ca Art

AWOL Studios 13th Open House event and Residents’ Exhibition in collaboration with Comme Ca Art

On Thursday 31st May, AWOL Studios invite you to come inside Hope Mill (a Grade II* listed old Georgian textile mill) to meet their 84 residents and discover what is now being produced in this landmark building. With artists and small businesses working across a range of disciplines from photography to textile to tattooing, it is a vital and dynamic community hub for many creatives.

Alongside AWOL Open Studios there will be live graffiti art on the third floor, an independent exhibition hosted by curator Claire Turner of Comme Ca Art on the 5th floor of the Mill and a resident’s exhibition curated by AWOL’s community entitled 4Walls.

Resident Artist Sara Hindhaugh outlined the brief, ‘considering the impact the continued growth and development that Manchester is having on our creative hub, 4Walls intends to express, examine or explore what it means for us to have a studio space on the ever encroaching outskirts of the city centre.’

Hope Mill Partnership was founded in 2001 by owner David French, who believes, ‘new ideas need old buildings.’ David told MCRhookup he is “really proud of the fact the Mill is full of strong independent artists and businesses. The exact vision I had 17 years ago. These types of events at the Mill allow people to experience the resilient community that resides here and to directly support small businesses in a city that is continually expanding and could push such businesses out of the area.”

Residents such as Brian Raymond, who provides therapeutic Creative Art courses for people with mental health issues, have been residents at AWOL for over a decade whilst other small business owners such as videographers Cosmic Joke or tattooist Loren Fetterman launched their careers from the Mill. “Buildings like Hope Mill provide an affordable home for businesses and are vital for cost effective and natural regeneration of run down areas.”

Hope Mill Theatre also became a resident of the Mill in 2015. The award winning fringe theatre space host up and coming productions including Theatre, Dance and Comedy. Loren Fetterman affirms. “When Hope Mill Theatre opened its doors in October 2015 it not only added another facet to the Mill’s creative network but enriched the cultural landscape, attracting audiences from across the UK and putting Ancoats on the theatrical map.”

AWOL’S Open House is a showcase of all the hard work of the residents of Hope Mill and is a creative and optimistic exhibition of Mancunian resilience and community spirit. All are welcome to this free drop in session to meet the residents and are encouraged to explore this hub of creativity that Manchester is so famous for.

WHEN? 31st May 2018 from 6pm. Register your interest and learn more on the event’s Facebook page

WHERE? AWOL StudiosHope Mill, Ancoats, M4 7JA