Artist commissions 2022 announced

We've had the task of reviewing a huge number of excellent proposals but we are delighted to now be able to announce our 'Bookshops For All' artist commissions for this year. 

The artists are:

Thanks to our judges: curators Claire Tymon, Virginia Tandy, shopkeeper Steve Roberts and volunteer and arts professional Caroline Turner. The proposals were selected for their creativity, visibility, and engagement with the bookshop itself and our customers. Each commission will present an opportunity for people to get involved and to explore a different aspect of the shop and the work we do in the town. 

Over the next few months the artists will be turning their proposals into reality so keep an eye out for key dates and information on how you can get involved. 

More about the commissions and artists:

The People’s Guide to Glossop - Morag Rose

The People’s Tour of Glossop is a hunt for the heart of the town and we need your help.

What does Glossop mean to you? Where do you love most in the town? What are your favourite Glossop stories? What would you like to change? Please share your Glossop thoughts, dreams, tales, memories and myths and we will weave them into a very special walk. I will be collecting stories at a series of events in November, please check the website here and @thelrm on twitter for times and locations. You can also contribute online and by leaving a postcard at the bookshop.

The tour itself will take place in December; I can’t tell you much yet because it will be shaped by what I learn along the way but it will blend performance, poetry, politics and local history with the stories I collect. It will be free to attend and open to all (subject to capacity). My work draws on walking art and psychogeography. Both of these practices use creative walking to explore and understand the places we live in and there will be two talks at George Street bookshop for anyone curious to discover more about them.

More about Morag

I am a walking artist, activist and educator. Recurring themes in my work include the importance of public space, the impact of regeneration, radical histories, spatial justice, participatory methods and creative mischief. In 2006 I founded Manchester based psychogeographical collective The LRM (Loiterers Resistance Movement). Our manifesto states “Our city is wonderful and made for more than shopping. The streets belong to everyone and we want to reclaim them for play and revolutionary fun….” On the First Sunday of every month The LRM facilitate a free, public, communal creative walk. I have instigated events from games of CCTV Bingo and giant vegan cake maps to celebrations of lost rivers. I have exhibited and performed widely at venues including The People’s History Museum, Home, Queens Museum NYC and Timber Festival. Most recently I collaborated with Walk The Plank on events exploring our local environment.

My work has been published in a range of journals, magazines and books. I am active in various campaigns to save and increase access to public space, including #OurIrwell which is fighting to save a historic towpath. I was part of the #WalkCreate research team at Walking Publics/ Walking Art: Walking, Wellbeing and Community which explored changing experiences of walking and not walking during the pandemic. My work strives to be open to and inclusive of all bodies and assistive technologies. I use communal walking as a way to start conversations, ask awkward questions and strengthen connections between people, places and their wider communities

Lois Blackburn

Are you interested in finding new uses for unloved, or damaged books? Have you ever fancied making a hand fan?

Fan making is on the ‘Red List of Endangered Crafts’, at serious risk of no longer being practiced in the UK. Lois wants to share her passion for making these beautiful, functional, art objects, through a series of drop-in workshops/open studio and an exhibition of fans made during the residency.

Lois will work with you to upcycle books, from the Bookshop. We’ll take books apart, fold pages, use covers for fan sticks, cut, collage, wrap, manipulate... Inspiration will come from the books themselves, plus origami and fan making techniques from history, and around the world.

Three of Lois’s residency days will focus on the Menopause, inviting you to share your own stories, and create a menopause fan.

More about Lois

Lois Blackburn (born 1979, Scotland) British artist. She graduated from Manchester Polytechnic in 1991 with BA Hons 1st Class in Embroidered Textiles.
Often using the quilt form and most recently the hand fans, she creates brightly coloured artworks, using familiar objects and materials. Her artwork draws you in, to give space to subjects that might be embarrassing, painful or simply hidden from view, be it grief, health issues or body-image.

From 2006-2021 she established and Co-Directed Community Interest Company arthur+martha.

Lois’s solo and socially engaged art practice has been exhibited extensively.
As arthur+martha, her collaborations were exhibited at the Houses of Parliament, Peoples History Museum, The Royal Festival Hall Southbank, Imperial War Museum North, Bury Art Gallery, Bingo Halls, numerous healthcare venues and internationally at the National Gallery of Art in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Lois has been commissioned for a wide range of public art and private artworks and her artwork is held in public collections.

Lois’s art rejoices in peoples strength, shares ways to overcome adversity, frames experiences in new ways to understand, share & celebrate.

Mythmaking - Michelle Collier

As a past resident of Glossop, Michelle became fascinated by the local lore: strange lights skipping across the Longdendale Valley; Devil’s bonfires igniting the landscape; whispers of hauntings and ghostly sightings. Many of these local legends have been documented in folklore, but how is it they came to be? And what if we took inspiration from these tales and the richness of the landscape to dream up new myths, together?

Through her residency, Michelle will explore the strange, peculiar and uncanny side of Glossopdale’s rich and curious history. From Celtic stone heads and centuries-old customs, to contemporary folklore. She’ll delve into the local landscape through books, conversations and creative exploration, and use this research as inspiration to create new written works and illustrations. During this journey, Michelle would like to invite local residents and latent storytellers to join her in this process of exploration, discovery and creation. Drop by the bookshop to chat to Michelle and share your strange stories or local knowledge, help map hotspots or hauntings to be explored, or pop in to make some myths of your own!

About Michelle Collier

Michelle Collier is a writer and printmaker with a background in writing for animation and digital experiences. As a print artist, she has exhibited at HOME, NOMA and the Manchester Print Fair, while her film and animation work has screened at DepicT!, London Short Film Festival, Underwire and the Manchester Animation Festival. Michelle was a lead writer on Civilisations AR – the BBC’s first-ever augmented reality app; a writer in residence for Manchester CIty of Literature’s inaugural Festival of Libraries; and the lead writer/narrative designer for The Keeper of Paintings and The Palette of Perception, a children’s immersive adventure game for The National Gallery, London.

With a lifelong love of storytelling, Michelle’s own work tends towards the mythical and mystical, from the tall tales we tell in the dark, to the strange folklore that endures through the ages. All muddled together with a touch of the macabre and a dash of humour. Through her practice, she is interested in the potential of collaborative mythmaking, and exploring the many ways to tell a story, from flash fiction, to image making, to experimenting with AI and other emerging digital narrative tools.