A fresh pair of eyes

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The Whitworth, part of the University of Manchester, is a place of research and academic collaboration, and its learning and engagement team have generated imaginative new approaches to working with non-traditional arts audiences.  

The gallery reopened in February 2015 after a £15 million transformation which doubled it in size and created new spaces that embrace the park it calls home.

Our main aim as a group is to make the Whitworth a space for young people.

The gallery in the park sits within Moss Side, part of Manchester facing diverse social and economic challenges and building a successful relationship with the local community is essential to Circuit’s success. The programme aims to match the profile of its visitors to the diversity of its most local residents. Circuit has launched Whitworth Young Contemporaries, a group of young people including emerging artists, who design and deliver a range of events for their peers. A new website is being developed to support and share this programme. Circuit aims to embed young people at the heart of the new Whitworth.


Young persons story

The gallery  took a risk, one that has changed my life.

“For the past 6 months, I’ve been working with the Whitworth Young Contemporaries. Our main aim as a group is to make the Whitworth a space for young people through workshops and events that offer a collective dip into the deep, dark, mysterious pool that is art. From projection mapping to screen printing, from hip-hop to performance art, we’ve played around with so many different art forms I almost forgot painting actually existed!

I’m a performer, theatre-maker and facilitator and after nearly a decade of seriously calling myself an actor I found myself in the middle of Manchester surrounded by people admiring the work of a fictional young artist I created, called Tracy Lumpkin. Through this I applied for the job at the Whitworth.  I didn’t think I’d get it as I was quite open about the fact I didn’t have a visual arts background, not even an arts GCSE, but I had lots of experience facilitating. The gallery saw the opportunity for a fresh pair of eyes and took a risk, one that has changed my life. Having the luxury of time and space, to re-focus my energies and reflect on where I am and where I want to go, has enabled me to really pull myself together and start the ball rolling in a fulfilling career in the arts. I know for absolute certain, that hadn’t I been offered the residency, it would have taken twice as long to find the confidence and the stability necessary to make work I could be proud of.”