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Islington Mill and Rogue Studios: You’ve not been?

Catherine May on the two cities’ tremendous assets

Published on March 17th 2011.

Islington Mill and Rogue Studios: You’ve not been?

WHILST MANCHESTER is undoubtedly an epicentre for musical talent, the other creative industries deserve to be given their moment in the spotlight. Hidden away under the radar – except for arty types - are Islington Mill and Rogue Artist Studios.

David Gledhill, one of Rogue’s two administrators, believes it’s “about time Manchester woke up to the creative studios”. He said “all the studios are a major cultural asset for Manchester” and that Rogue was originally founded to meet the high demand from artists to have somewhere to work.

Based in a former spinning mill in Salford, Islington Mill is home to artist studios, two art galleries, a recording studio and a club space. It’s been owned by Bill Campbell, a Central St Martin’s fashion graduate, since 2001 and over the years has grown to house 50 spaces for artists and designers to work in permanently. The club space started out in 2005 and has played host to Elbow, The Ting Tings and Hot Chip amongst countless others.

The mill is currently taking part in the nationwide MERZMAN festival with sculptor Julika Gittner taking up a two week residency and Billy Childish and Roger Cardinal both giving talks about the influence that Kurt Schwitters has had upon them. The weekly Wednesday life drawing classes will also be celebrating Schwitters’ work with the 30 March session exploring his legacy.

As well as showcasing the music and arts sectors, the mill is also used for yoga classes and regular talks in their ‘Say Something’ series. Other upcoming events include ‘Bowie 2001’ on 20 and 21 April where Fritz von Runte will present his remix of 15 Bowie classics as a 100 minute piece with an edited version of Kubrik’s ‘Space Odyssey: 2001’.

And as for the Royal Wedding, the 29 April sees Off with Their Heads presenting a day of celebrations. Starting from 2pm with a street party, the evening sees the party progress with DJs, wedding karaoke and classic disco performances.

The venue will also be taking part in Sounds from the Other City on 1 May where Marina and The Diamonds, Cherry Ghost and Egyptian Hip Hop have previously been presented to the crowds.

The Salford Zine Library has recently celebrated its first birthday in the mill with a collection of self-published work spanning four decades.

Over the river in Manchester, Rogue Artists Studios is the largest independent studio group in the North West. More than eighty artists work within the 30,000 square feet of Chapeltown Mill. Artists, filmmakers, photographers and sculptors all have spaces in the building with recent graduates working alongside established creatives.

David Gledhill, one of Rogue’s two administrators, believes it’s “about time Manchester woke up to the creative studios”. He said “all the studios are a major cultural asset for Manchester” and that Rogue was originally founded to meet the high demand from artists to have somewhere to work.

Rogue prides itself on the amicable atmosphere that they offer for artists, allowing everyone to freely get on with their own work. As a not-for-profit organisation, they offer affordable space in the city centre and have done so since 1995 when they were originally based in Hanover Mill.

Having been founded by Colin Sinclair and initially partly subsidised by Dianne Harrison Designs, the original premise of the space was that artists could use it as a place to create new textiles. As time progressed, the studios began to be used by a wider range of creatives and when Hanover Mill was demolished twelve years ago they moved to the current Chapeltown Street location.

The studios will be hosting their annual Open Studio event in autumn where residents can exhibit their work to the public and fellow artists whilst the Project Space houses temporary exhibitions and projects throughout the year. From 18-26 March, painter Darren Nixon will be exhibiting in the project space. Viewings are by appointment with more details being available on the studios’ website.

Islington Mill
James Street
Salford M3 5HW

Rogue Artists Studios
66-72 Chapeltown Street
M1 2WH

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Phil WaltonMarch 18th 2011.

Can I add to the list and give a plug for AWOL Studios. AWOL Studios is celebrating its 10th year, and now has around 85 Creative people in 60 Studios. We are having our Open Studios on Thursday 24th March (see http://www.awol-studios.co.uk/events.html) its an open invite so come along and see what your missing!
Manchester and Salford have some great creative spaces now, and there is so much going on behind the walls of historic mills such as AWOL, Rogue, and Islington Mill. So the more articles like this the better, so we can give people the chance to take a peak inside!

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