HOME, Manchester’s new purpose-built centre for contemporary visual art, film and theatre, has announced the appointment of its artistic director of visual arts, Sarah Perks, to the role of professor of visual arts at Manchester School of Art (Manchester Metropolitan University).

The position is part of a partnership programme aimed at creating links between the city’s artistic and academic networks. A second position at HOME, artistic director of film, will also receive tenure at MMU when it is appointed later this year.

Formed from the merger of Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre CompanyHOME will open in spring 2015 as part of the city’s First Street North development. The newly created academic positions aim to enable HOME’s senior curatorial staff to bring expertise to Manchester School of Art through keynote lectures and the hosting of doctoral research studentships.

Students at the school will also benefit from a programme of volunteering opportunities which will both support their future employability and contribute to HOME’s wider audience engagement programme.

Speaking about the collaboration, MMU’s Dean of the Faculty of Art and Design, Professor David Crow, said: “The partnership will provide students of Manchester School of Art with valuable opportunities to enjoy and gain an in-depth insight into HOME’s visual arts and film programme.

“The placement, volunteering and studentship opportunities it creates will improve our students’ understanding and practice of visual arts and film as well as their future employability.”

Pushing boundaries

Perks, herself a graduate of MMU, has worked with many high-profile artists including Phil Collins, Jeremy Deller, Rosa Barba and Gillian Wearing. She has been based at Cornerhouse since 2004, producing a programme of specialised film, visual art exhibitions and major engagement projects.

In 2011, Perks launched the UK’s only specialist producer and distributor of artist feature film, Cornerhouse Artist Film, with the theatrical release of Wearing’s film, Self Made. Earlier this year she curated Jamie Shovlin’s major solo exhibition, Hiker Meat, and produced his feature length film, Rough Cut, in partnership with Toronto International Film Festival.

Speaking about her appointment, Perks said: “I’m delighted to be awarded this professorship that reaffirms HOME’s importance as a site of academic research. Academia strongly influences my practice as a curator across exhibitions, new commissions, artist film production and publications. This is the start of an exciting collaboration and will push boundaries in contemporary visual art practice and curation.”


More on a-n.co.uk:

Manchester International Festival: “The most incredible injection of energy to the city” – Bob Dickinson meets Sarah Perks of Cornerhouse and Maria Balshaw of Manchester and Whitworth galleries to discuss the impact of the festival’s visual arts programme.