This August Bank holiday weekend, Northern Art Carbooty returns to Ancoats, Manchester for its third edition. A one-day art and craft event, this year also sees an additional day of activity in Blackpool in October.
Designed to speak to all ages and create affordable opportunities to purchase original art and design, prices start at £1 and are capped at £50.
Helen Wewiora explains: “We encourage collaborations between artists themselves, but also artists and communities. In doing so they make connections and engage the public. It’s about supporting artists to experiment and take risks in the production of new work.”
For Wewiora, the result is the antithesis of the international art market and inaccessible price points. “The location of Ancoats is important. The event is situated in a conservation area with a strong local community. We’ve now worked with the same group of over 60s for the last three years through Northwards Housing, as well as local organisations and charities. It really does bring everyone together.”
Highlights from this year’s programme include local illustrator Dave Gee’s abstract drawings. He has been specially commissioned to create a special design on a Toyota Yaris, and he will also be selling a range of illustrations, prints, and crockery ware directly from the boot of the car.
Made with Monty will be selling a selection of bespoke products including bags, toast racks and desk lamps, while One69a will be on hand to support visitors to create their own screenprinted T-shirts, bags and Northern Art Carbooty-inspired posters. Done Ups will be selling key rings, cheese markers and herb/veg plant markers made out of vintage silver plated cutlery.
There will also be a series of live art and performance commissions showcased on the day, including from Northern Art Prize nominee Emily Speed who is returning to the event with her sister, Ruth Speed. Fostering long-term investment in artists is clearly part of Wewiora’s ethos.
“We committed ourselves to working with artists over a number of years, seeing where extended relationships and reinvestments – as well as a return to existing works – can grow and develop individuals and their practice.”
This year will also see the inaugural Blackpool Art Carbooty, hosted by the famous Winter Gardens on 31 October. Wewiora explains that the decision to branch out stemmed from the year-on-year growth of the original event.
“After a successful year in 2014, we received lots of approaches and expressions of interest for us to work with people and organisations from all over the North West,” she says. “It was really down to the energy of ourselves and importantly our partner on the ground in Blackpool, Linzi Cason of Squirrel & Tiffin.”
The project has received support from Blackpool Creative People and Places programme LeftCoast. “It fitted with our desire to work in partnership, in ‘non-arts’ settings and in contexts where arts and cultural engagement is often low,” says Wewiora. “The venues in Blackpool offer untold possibilities and we are really pleased to be working with the Winter Gardens.”
What are Wewiora’s hopes for the future of the event? “More growth and development, as we have seen to date. Ever-increased resilience and strong partnerships will be key to this, especially if we are able to deliver what has now become very real ambitions to take Northern Art Carbooty on the road across the North. We want to leave a legacy of partner projects all around the northern regions.”
Northern Art Carbooty takes place on Sunday 30 August, 12-5pm at 1 Primrose Street Club, Hanger and Courtyard. carbootymcr.tumblr.com