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Great Manchester Arts announce Peterloo commission
- 31 July 2019
Greater Manchester Arts commission award-winning artist, Joshua Sofaer, to deliver Peterloo legacy project.
From Bolton to Bury, from Rochdale to Stockport, from Oldham to Trafford, thousands of people from what is now Greater Manchester, marched for political reform on the day of Peterloo. Having the vote mattered and in demonstration of this shared belief, they stood together.
In a unique art project, which celebrates the spirit and unites the ten districts of Greater Manchester, in the same way that Peterloo did 200 years ago, Greater Manchester Arts have commissioned artist Joshua Sofaer to make a new work marking the impact of Peterloo and the journey to political reform that followed.
Responding to the themes of democracy, freedom of speech and protest, the commission follows on from the commemorative programme of events led by Manchester Histories this summer, and will offer local people and visitors a new way of looking at and thinking about Peterloo.
On appointing Joshua Sofaer for the project, Greater Manchester Arts said: “Our vision is to bring the arts to everyone in Greater Manchester, so we were looking to collaborate with an artist who could bring this vision to life. Engaging people in the making process is part of Joshua’s approach as an artist, and we’re excited about his ideas on how he will collaborate with the Greater Manchester public to make this piece.
Joshua has vast experience of public art and creating work in public spaces, which is key to the brief. It’s important that the work goes into the heart of communities and creates opportunity for people across Greater Manchester to enjoy and engage with the high-quality arts on their doorstep.”
On being commissioned for the project, Joshua Sofaer, said: “There’s almost no art that isn’t collaborative and ultimately this artwork is about the people. I’m looking forward to working with local people as part of the creative process and talking to them about what matters to them in their community today.
It’s exciting for me as an artist to be given the challenge of creating a work which connects with 10 different places, each with their own history and identity. It will be fascinating to explore and decipher how they can be united through one distinctive and unifying theme. It’s a fantastic project with so many possibilities, I can’t wait to get started!”
Joshua Sofaer is an artist, who creates social sculpture, performance and installation art. His art and performance have been seen across the UK at galleries such as the Tate Modern and the ICA, festivals including Manchester International Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Hull City of Culture and internationally in Stockholm, San Francisco and Portugal. Find out more about Joshua and visit his blog at https://www.joshuasofaer.com.
The journey of the work begins this Autumn, when Joshua will begin the creative process and make the piece. The work will then be shared with the 10 Greater Manchester districts in Spring 2020. Further announcements will be made soon.
The project is produced by Rules of Threes. The commission is funded by GMCA as part of the Great Place: Stronger Together Programme.