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Massive New MCR City Centre Art Space Opens

Federation House is getting a cultural make-over

Published on March 12th 2014.

Massive New MCR City Centre Art Space Opens

THE FORMIDABLE, and perhaps even a tad forbidding Federation House, is opening as one of Castlefield Gallery's New Art Spaces this week.

In the meantime art has been given five years in partnership with NOMA to work its magic in the grim but impressive building. 

The early twentieth century building has only recently been emptied and is probably for the chop when the Cooperative's NOMA development really gets going.

But that will take time as Paul Flowers and Euan Sutherland might tell you. The lovely vision on this video is several years off. So in the meantime art has been given five years in partnership with NOMA to work its magic in the grim but impressive building. 

The Chandelier Of Lost Earrings Photo_Helen Kitchen1

The Chandelier of Lost Earrings- photo Helen Kitchen

Thus this Thursday Alison Clark-Jenkins, Arts Council Director in the North West and National Director of Combined Arts, Maria Balshaw, Director of Manchester City Galleries Partnership and Strategic Lead for Culture, Manchester City Council, and Martyn Hulme, Managing Director Co-operative Estates Co-operative Group will officially launch New Art Spaces Federation House.

There will be exhibitions and open studios on all 8 floors providing an opportunity for the public to see what’s happening and meet the artists involved, including: Benji Reid, Artistic Director of MARS who has transformed the basement into a theatre space. 

Mars is a theatre-making programme aimed at emerging and mid-career artists alike, supporting them from a grass roots level and giving individual artists or small companies the opportunity to develop theatrical experiments without funding.

Lauren Sagar and Sharon Campbell are exhibiting The Chandelier of Lost Earrings in a space on the upper ground floor.  The Chandelier is an Arts Council England funded, mass engagement sculpture, standing at 2.5 m x 1 m wide it is constructed from 3500 single earrings donated by the owners who have lost the other of the pair.

 Pool Arts will be showing some of the work that they have been developing at Federation House for their upcoming exhibition, Furiously Mad: 300 Years of Legal Insanity at People’s History Museum and on the 3rd floor there will be Filmonik a filmmaking/screening/workshop/ film experiment space.

Filmonic Screening Event At Federation House


Filmonic Screening Event At Federation House

Other artists and groups using the space and who will be there on Thursday include: Curated Place, CSV, DIY Art School, Mark DevereuxProjects, Greg May, Molly Smyth, Saoirse Higgins, Julie Del’Hopital, Holly Rowan Hesson & Lisa Denyer, TEA, Filmonik, Roger Bygott, Charma Force & Rafael Perez, Sam Meech, Kathryn Miller, Darren Nixon, Huw Wahl, James Bloomfield, and TOAST.

After Thursday evening's launch there will continue to be regular public events and exhibitions and visitors are advised to check the artists websites for times and dates. Federation House is at the junction of Balloon Street and Federation Street.

Federation House with its stumpy blitz damaged clock tower


Federation House with its stumpy blitz damaged clock tower

Mark Devereux Projects 1St FloorMark Devereux Projects 1st Floor

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7 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousMarch 12th 2014.

it hasn't been empty for years, there were people in there last year before moving to one angel square!

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousMarch 12th 2014.

I was one of them. Left in about April 2013

AnonymousMarch 12th 2014.

FORMIDABLE, and perhaps even a tad forbidding, grim but impressive building, probably for the chop, stumpy blitz damaged clock tower doesn't quite do justice to the building does it? Good to hear it is being used and interested in the events but quite perplexed by the description of what is quite a lovely building with some pretty great detailing. If it wasn't for its location - would you still call it forbidding?

RedmondeveMarch 12th 2014.

Interesting nobody heard of the venture before the opening, very hush hush!

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousMarch 12th 2014.

there has been signs up for several weeks. salford uni displayed student work there earlier this year too...

AnonymousMarch 12th 2014.

Its always felt fortress like to me, probably because its enterance is an afterthought on a girm corner (which wouldnt be so grim if planners had done a better job on the back portion of the printworks and if the coop hadnt let the back half of the hanover building rot for decades).

AnonymousMarch 12th 2014.

Stumpy and Grim???? I love that building!

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