Manchester, UK
Monday, January 27, 2020
Tuesday, March 24, 2020
North West England

FRAMEWORK is a cross-art form professional development programme for North-West based artists, makers and photographers. Collaboratively developed and delivered by a-n The Artists Information Company, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester Craft & Design Centre and Redeye, four sessions will take place over 3 months in Manchester. Focusing on core business skills to support and enhance your practice, day-long workshops will cover writing, pitching, project management, getting press and promoting your work, led by an arts sector expert. There will 12-20 places available for each session which will explore a topic in depth through presentations, exercises and workshops.


The programme is for makers, photographers and visual artists working in any artform, at any stage of their career.


Monday 27th January 2020, 11am – 5pm

Venture Arts – 43 Old Birley Street, Hulme, Manchester M15 5RF

Writing for Different Audiences

Liverpool based writer, critic and editor Laura Robertson will lead this day-long workshop. This session is for you if: a) writing stresses you out; b) it’s been a while since your last group crit; and/or c) you want to feel more confident about communicating what you do and why you do it.

What is an artist’s statement? Simply put, it is an insight into you and your work, whatever form that takes, in your own words. Typically, it is written in the first person. It is a an incredibly useful tool, whether you’re an artist, designer, or photographer, and has many purposes. The process of writing an artist statement can help you to: understand new work or work in progress; describe what you do to potential commissioners; shape exhibition or website text; or apply for funding. It shouldn’t be boring or sound like anyone else’s – it should absolutely reflect your practice.

Yes, writing can be challenging, but it’s also exciting, empowering, and liberating. Come with an open mind. This will be a very hands-on/supportive workshop with plenty of fun and speedy writing exercises, collecting words and phrases that best reflect your work. We’ll be looking at many different types of statement, from well-known artists, designers and photographers; feeding back to each other about our existing texts; and really getting to grips with how to write a great, new statement with intent and gusto.

Laura Robertson is a writer, critic and editor based in Liverpool. A reviewer of contemporary arts and culture for international magazines (including Frieze, Hyperallergic, Art Monthly, ArtReview, a-n), and broadcast (BBC Four Front Row), she is also co-founder and contributing editor at The Double Negative online magazine; an MA Writing student at the Royal College of Art; critical writer-in-residence at Open Eye Gallery; and a former director of The Royal Standard Gallery & Studios. She has edited and contributed writing to two new books in 2019: ‘Present Tense’, which comments on current tensions in the fields of art and culture; and ‘NOIT — 5: bodies as in buildings’, made on residency at Flat Time House.

Thursday 13th February 2020, 11am – 5pm

Manchester Craft & Design Centre, 17 Oak Street, Manchester, M4 5JD

Finding Your Voice

Led by Leona Thrift-ola, founder of Indie Roller. The workshop will cover how to pitch and talk confidently about your work in a variety of situations: * Start with why you do what you do. An Indie Roller values exercise. * You are your superpower, unleash your individuality. *Moving past comparison and dealing with imposter syndrome. *The art of storytelling to build an emotional connection. *How being part of a like-minded community can build self-belief, confidence & motivation. *The secrets and myths of consistency. *Perseverance. Dealing with rejection and how to keep going. *End of session Q&A.

Leona is the founder of Indie Roller, a truth telling, secret sharing, myth busting community for independent business owners to play by their own rules. Leona ran a successful Kickstarter campaign in October 2019 to create quality business guidance, support and inspiration and ensure it was accessible to small business owners and freelancers no matter what stage they’re at. If you feel stuck, your business journey lacks clarity or you need a helping hand to get going then Indie Roller could be the magic lightning bolt you need.

Tuesday 3rd March 2020, 11:30am – 5pm

Venture Arts – 43 Old Birley Street, Hulme, Manchester M15 5RF

Project Management for Artists and Makers

Are you interested to aim higher, work with others, or deliver creative projects with more impact? This one day workshop, led by independent curator Shirley Read and director of Redeye network Paul Herrmann, uses the example of a group exhibition to work through what’s needed for a successful arts project. Covering research, planning, delivery and evaluation, the workshop will also explore working with groups, and what makes a successful exhibition.

Shirley Read is an independent curator based in London. She currently curates exhibitions for the Idea Store Canary Wharf during the Photomonth International Photography Festival. She has been interviewing photographers about their lives and work for the Oral History of British Photography (part of the National Sound Archive at the British Library) for over twenty years. She teaches at every level of photographic practice and her book Exhibiting Photography (Focal Press 2008 & 2014) has been published in Chinese and English. Her latest book (with Dr Mike Simmons), Photographers and Research: the idea, the process and the project, was published by Focal Press in 2016.

Paul Herrmann is the director of Redeye, a network that has supported hundreds of artists and photographers in building their careers. He is also founder and director of The Photographic Collections Network, which provides knowledge and skills for anyone working with a photo archive or collection. He has particular interests in, and lectures and advises on, group and collaborative projects in the arts, business skills for creative practitioners, and digital legacy.

Tuesday 24th March 2020, 11am – 5pm

Castlefield Gallery, 2 Hewitt Street, Manchester, M15 4GB

Getting Press, Promoting Your Practice

Can you tell the difference between Artrabbit and Art Monthly? Are you flummoxed by the world of online exhibition coverage? Do you know when different publications go to press? Once you have an exhibition or event, what are the best ways to develop an audience for your work? Getting coverage in the mainstream media and arts press continues to be a mystery for many artists and makers.

Castlefield Gallery Communications & Audience Development Coordinator Jennifer Dean will give an overview of the media landscape from free listings and local press to Frieze, and talk about ways to get promotion for your exhibition or event, including: identifying your audience; commissioning writers; providing images; formulating press releases for print and online media; nurturing press contacts; the pros and cons of paying for advertising; planning a press campaign.

Alongside working at Castlefield Gallery, Jennifer works freelance providing project support, event coordination, marketing, press and PR coordination for cultural projects and individual artists. Past clients include Manchester Histories, Rogue Studios, Manchester Museum, Salford City Council, and Creative Tourist Ltd.


The programme is open to all makers, photographers and artists but members and associates of the above organisations receive a discount on the ticket price.

Spaces are limited and booking via eventbrite is essential.

The data collected from attendees when booking will be shared and accessed by all four partner organisations for logistical, research and reporting purposes.


Each session costs between £20 and £25 to attend, and is significantly subsidised by the organisations with the aim of making high quality support available to all artists. There is also a 10% discount if you want to purchase a ticket for all 4 workshops.


Spaces are limited so if you find that you can no longer attend please let us know as soon as possible, so that we can let another artist make use of the space.

Please note that refunds will only be issued for cancellations that are made 14 days or more before the event is due to take place.

If you have any questions please contact [email protected]