Category: Archive

Pool Arts manager / mentor role

advertjobPool Arts is looking for a mentor manager to work closely with Pool Arts members over the coming year

as they develop their new studio facility in Ardwick. This is a one year freelance role

For details please download the job description and details of how to apply here POOL ARTS STUDIO MANAGER


Join Pool Arts

work by I. Baron

work by I. Baron

Pool Arts has around twenty members who benefit from being part of a pioneering and inclusive organisation.

We currently offer mentor sessions and a chance to be fully involved in helping run Pool Arts.We are working towards a fully sustainable studio space that will offer hot design art studio space to members and opportunities to take part in workshops and projects alongside professional Associate artists. Watch this space to see how this develops!

Details of Associate membership to follow…

If you or someone you know would like to talk about joining Pool Arts, just let us know – find more information at the “about” page where you can download information about how to join.

Penny Arcade and David Hoyle become patrons of Pool Arts



David Hoyle, Penny Arcade with Pool Arts artist Akinyemi Oludele at HOME July 2015

Internationally famous performance artist Penny Arcade and Manchester’s David Hoyle (The Divine David) have become patrons of Manchester based Arts charity, Pool Arts.

Penny Arcade became one of Andy Warhol’s Factory Superstars in the 60s and worked with avant garde film maker Jack Smith. Pool Arts has been using project space in Castlefield Gallery’s New Art Spaces and this year developed Dreaming Of New York, which culminated in A Dinner with Penny Arcade – a performance event at HOME.



Pool Arts members will be travelling en masse to London on 19th November during London run of her hit show: Longing Lasts Longer at The SoHo Theatre,which premiered earlier this year at The Edinburgh Festival. Penny will be hosting a workshop with the Pool Arts, responding to their Dreaming of New York exhibition.

Penny Arcade, New York performance artist since the late 1960s; Andy Warhol’s Factory Superstar; activist, writer and champion of queer culture has made a heartfelt connection with this ambitious charity which supports artists by providing work space, peer support, mentoring and opportunities to exhibit.

Dreaming of New York was exhibited at Manchester’s Castlefield Gallery New Art Spaces and later at Horsfall Space at 42nd Street in July this year. Pool Arts also hosted A Dinner With Penny Arcade performance event at HOME, Manchester’s new arts centre.

About Pool Arts: Pool Arts, set up in 1999, is run and managed by its members – some of whom are disadvantaged through their experience of mental or emotional distress, and who have found involvement in the arts may support recovery. Their group projects range from creating an art gallery in a garden shed on local allotments, to an ambitious artistic exploration of the history of mental illness at People’s History Museum in 2014

Through Arcade, iconic Manchester performance artist David Hoyle, also known as The Divine David, has also agreed to become a patron of the charity.

Pool Arts first made contact with Arcade when artist Nicola Smith made a video work in tribute to the performer after reading her book “Bad Reputation”. Smith learned one of Arcade’s performances by heart and mimed the whole thing on a self made video, filmed in her bathroom mirror. When she sent the video to Penny Arcade, Arcade loved it, posted it on her own Facebook page and the resulting comments from her fans formed the basis a new work by Nicola Smith titled There’s Only One Penny Arcade. Looking for connections in New York to inform their exhibition, Arcade responded positively to being invited to take part Pool Arts’ exhibition and also to visiting Manchester in July this year and establishing a relationship with the organisation.

Penny Arcade says: Pool Arts harnesses their collective energy to live and create outside of the illusionmarket and media, Pool Arts is the little arts collective that could!

Artist Chris Chapman, one of the Pool Arts members says: Meeting Penny Arcade during our event was to experience an extended, wonderful moment in my life! My son came along and he finally saw that I exist as something other than a mum – I’m an artist with Pool Arts. Being part of Pool Arts means we all contribute something to developing a project – and when it all comes to fruition, it’s an achievement for everybody – and nothing compares to that feeling of pride and connection .

Contact us for more information / more images


Notes to editors:

Pool Arts is a charity and company limited by guarantee. They offer peer support, temporary studio space; a chance to help run the organisation, take on management roles and opportunities to exhibit and take part in projects. They offer mentoring through visual contemporary artists James Bloomfield and Alison Kershaw. They are completely self funded and rely on donations and small grants.

Penny Arcade is available for interview. contact Pool Arts or via producer Jeremy Goldstein

Nicola Smith is available for interview please contact Pool Arts

Alison Kershaw is available on 07767356302 /

HOME is Manchester’s newest Art centre (formerly at Cornerhouse) Pool Arts hosted a Dinner with Penny Arcade in July with performances by Pool Arts artists: Penny Arcade / Ruqia / Nicola Smith / Another Adele / Sandra Bouguerch and a celebration of Penny Arcade and David Hoyles appointment as a patron of Pool ArtsCastlefield Gallery’s New Art Spaces (NAS) is an initiative to create dynamic project spaces for artists, artist collectives and artist development agencies. Making use of temporary vacant retail, office and light industrial units, NAS provides opportunities for emerging creatives to incubate their practices, produce work and showcase new art to local communities. Currently CG runs New Art Spaces in Chorlton, Leigh and Salford.

Supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. To find out more about the Arts Council visit the What we do section of our website



Dreaming Of New York featuring Penny Arcade

Exhibition Text by Alison Kershaw
When Eddie Price AKA Opitz was making his New York (The Big Apple) Trade Centre Umbra Fenestra (window shadows) drawings based on reflections on the surface of the windows in the World Trade Centre in 1992, he could never have forseen what would be the fate of those tragic panes of glass. Eleven years later, Chris Chapman was also on a student trip to the city and she witnessed the anti-war demonstrations in Times Square; New Yorkers’ opposing to the imminent invasion of Iraq – the ultimate response to 9/11. 

But like Eddie, it was the detail that caught Chris’s eye. Beautiful horses, symbols of untamed freedom; iconic creatures of America and the Wild West: here used as a method of control by the police in the city square that day. In her delicate piece How The Myth Was Won, she traces the mythical spirit horse through coralled horses – a repression of the spirit.


Alison Kershaw’s The Lost America Of Love (after Alan Ginsberg) and
Akinmyemi Oludele’s Statue of Liberty echo a similar idea; an America that exists in the mind, in art – but is tarnished or corrupted – Ginsberg describes the tawdry, dark and self destructive seams of urban USA in his poetry, but in A Supermarket in California, he laments the America that Walt Whitman believed in, full of hope, optimism, possibilities, beauty and solidarity.


In James Bloomfield’s piece I Hear America Singing, Whitman is evoked once again and the contrast and connection between the ceramic pistols baked using a fire pit, a potent relic made useless through the most basic of traditional materials, and the shiny red Nike sneakers box speaks of a wastefulness of objects destined for the landfill.
In her video True Stories, Penny Arcade performs some the complexities and politics of advancing capitalist western democracy, through the lives of the individuals who survive its harsher effects and whose voices add to the richness of the culture in a film of her performance True Stories NYC
Penny Arcade was invited to inspire Pool Arts whilst they were individually researching the theme of New York. Artist Nicola Smith has been a long time fan of Penny , and created a video performance: There’s Only One Penny Arcade which she sent to Penny herself. In response, Penny agreed to visit us here in Manchester to meet the artists and exhibit alongside them.

Pool Arts is excited and honoured to host one of the world’s pioneering performance artists – who has spent over 40 years honing her skills and expressing a powerful political stance, positively promoting queer identities and offering a fierce defence of civil rights.


Penny Arcade was one of the original Factory Superstars in Andy Warhol’s pop art empire. Pool Arts are keen to hear what it was like to be part of that powerful art scene, when New York was the go-to city for artists, musicians, performers and political movements. Simon Mawdsley’s work highlights the involvement of the CIA in the promotion of American contemporary painting in the 1950s as a weapon in the cold war, spreading liberal values of “Freedom” in Europe and Russia. His enlarged portraits of the agents – also significant board members of MOMA – peer out from the upper windows of Horsfall Space with knowing gazes.

Meanwhile in the mini-reproduction of his installation The Long Leash, Simon’s map of Manhattan shows the locations where the artists developed their abstract expressionist practices, part of a counter culture that rejected traditional technique and figurative representation and turned their focus inwards, no doubt oblivious to the manipulation of their work on the world stage.

Another map is employed by R.M who invites us to take up the Situationist activity of a Derive through Manchester’s streets, using a map of New York as a guide…turn right, turn left, straight on – see where you end up! We’d love you to tweet us the results @poolartists Or Why not place yourself in New York for a selfie? Dave Speers invites you to Get Inside Central Park using a trick with a mirror….and don’t forget you can get a tour of the exhibition with Traë England-Shortt in her performance Conversations with A Hot Dog

America, the land of iconic artists, towering twentieth-century-people-products. l. Baron creates surreal brightly-coloured pictures of imagined characters whose features melt into graphic shapes floating in space. Surrealists of the 1930 and 40s influenced the culture in New York where they fled to from Europe. Marcel Duchamp, gave up art to play chess whilst influencing John Cage, Merce Cunningham and countless others. Baron has created an homage to his hero: Elvis Presley in New York floats against a kind of chess board and floating squares. Jade Richards and Annette Ebanks have created expressive drawings, prints and paintings based on the architecture and culture of the city.


Dee Cee acknowledges the 1930s New Deal programme in America that sought to put the unemployed to work – it has inspired many a government programme both in the States and here in UK. Her wall hung memorial piece based the image of a Rorschach Test and cast in jesmonite, is titled Callum’s List: The list where welfare reform is alleged to have some culpability… See that refers to people in the UK in the 21st century


In Birdland, Manchester born RuQia (Artiste) has chosen to give us a selection of infamous Jazz singers who she resonates with as a vocalist. Their repertoires portray aspects of their personal soul journeys, a medley of moods representing the jazz and blues of oppression, pain, passion, glory and glamour. As a singer herself, Ruqia has placed her own image (with typical Mancunian cheek!) alongside those of just a few of her heroines – she identifies not only with their music , but also the way in which they presented the public image of themselves in studio shots, and how their raw emotions can not help but spill out in the more spontaneous photographs from their performances.




About Pool Arts:

Being a small self-run, charitable organisation, that includes artists who may be excluded and marginalised through mental health needs, Pool Arts asks why they should not have the best artistic experiences? Why not visit New York – even in our dreams? Why not have a decent studio? Why not exhibit in good venues? Why not have support to continue our practice? This is the raison d’être of Pool Arts.


“Pool Arts is a work of art in it’s own right. Constantly adapting and shifting with it’s changing membership” says artist Alison Kershaw, who has worked with Pool Arts for over 12 years. “Together, we are creating new platforms for artists, asking who can be an artist, what is collaboration and what is art for?”

With notions about the potential of art practice influenced in part from the legacies of conceptual and relational art, and with a nod to activism and community practices, we are looking at art as an environment; art as a social organism; art as an organisation. Together, we question the nature of co-production and co-curating between artists contributing to the world of art by offering models of art that work both inside and outside contemporary, critical art readings.


Dinner with Penny Arcade at HOME

Pool Arts hosted Penny Arcade, Andy Warhol’s original Factory Superstar and a collaborator with the father of performance art Jack Smith, last weekend in a series of unique events in Manchester.

Penny Arcade attended an Afternoon Tea Party in the yard at Horsfall Space at 42nd Street where she met with Pool Arts members and friends. Her video work True Stories NYC was shown in the exhibition Dreaming Of New York at the same venue. Later there was a special Dinner with Penny Arcade at Manchester’s coolest new venue HOME, followed by performances by local artists and Penny Arcade in Person performing.

We also welcomed honoured guest David Hoyle and both he and Penny Arcade are keen to support Pool Arts and their vision of a more inclusive art scene.


Pool Arts crowd funding campaign – can you make a pledge?

2014 Penny Arcade by Jasmine Hirst_868x600

Pool Arts forthcoming exhibition Dreaming Of New York is coming in July

We are bringing a world famous artist and performer Penny Arcade (left) to Manchester. Our artists will be meeting Penny and she will be taking part in the exhibition and doing a performance at a Dinner Party we are hosting at HOME

If you can help us raise the last bit of funding we need to make this venture a real success, please follow this link to our Wefund site.


Thanks – we really appreciate your help. And look forward to seeing you at the exhibition! (see details below)

Dreaming Of New York

exhibition poster

Dreaming of New York

Pool Arts featuring Penny Arcade

The CIA and Abstract Expressionism? A Situationist-style Derive of Ancoats? surreal Elvis? Queer Culture?

Visit Horsfall Space at 42nd street during Manchester International Festival and see Pool Arts art exhibition on the links between Art / Manchester and New York City.

Join us for special events, meet the fabulous Penny Arcade and enjoy an Independence Day Barbecue and  our famous bagels!


Horsfall Space at 42nd Street Based on Great Ancoats Street, Horsfall is under renovation in this innovative historic quarter

A creative hub for 42nd Street, a charity supporting young people under stress. Opening in April 2016 and housing our creative programme.

Manchester | UK

New York became the centre of the art world following the second world war – but  what does the idea of America mean to us now, in a shifting geopolitical landscape?

This exhibition conceived by Pool Arts, Manchester’s other arts organisation, sees each artist exploring and researching their responses to the idea of New York City.

Work includes drawing, painting, installation, performance, sculpture and a Situationist map-guided “derive” of Ancoats.

We proudly present the work of performance artist Penny Arcade direct from NYC via Edinburgh. Penny famously collaborated with Andy Warhol. She will be showing her video New York Voices and making a live appearance at the closing afternoon party for the exhibition on Sunday 19th July. She will be meeting Pool Arts members and guests in Manchester at a special dinner at HOME, Manchester’s newest Internationally Art Centre


We are part of MANIFEST

Introduction to digital photography with Pool Arts

11156357_10153305700690229_1281914511972537840_nWe are hosting one day digital photography workshops in February, April and May 2015
During the workshops you will be introduced to the basics of using your digital camera / phone, saving files to the computer and a little about photoshop. This is aimed at those who really have very little experience of using digital media.
There are limited places available for non-Pool Arts members
Cost £15/day
dates to be announced, but please express your interest via an email

Art mentoring for artists in Manchester

Are you an artist in the Manchester area that has experienced mental health needs? If so you may be eligible to take part in a limited number of mentoring sessions with Pool Arts. Our experienced mentor, James Bloomfield offers one to one sessions where you can show your portfolio, discuss how to progress with your practice and explore opportunities that may be available to you. You will also find out more about Pool Arts and the benefits of becoming a member. We are offering up to two mentor sessions per person for a small fee on a first come first served basis. Just e.mail us a short paragraph about yourself and why you would like mentoring and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
Sessions take place in our central Manchester studio facility from February 2015
Cost £10 (for up to two sessions)

Broken Grey Wires

We are proud to have been invited to get involved with Broken Grey Wires, a new and interesting project from artist Lizz Brady which highlight the links between contemporary visual art and mental health issues.

“Support has come from across the contemporary art scene, including the Turner Prize nominee, David Shrigley, alongside internationally acclaimed cutting-edge artists, Mike Chavez-Dawson, Magda Archer, Ryan Trecartin, Stuart Semple and The Vacuum Cleaner who will be exhibiting in the physical exhibitions as well as in the online repository of work dedicated to mental health in contemporary art.
Organisational support for the project has also been overwhelming and has come from all sectors of society, including the mental health charity Manchester Mind, Time to Change, Everton in the Community, The Pipe Factory in Glasgow and the Early Intervention Psychosis Service in Manchester, as well as numerous galleries across the UK.

Broken Grey Wires welcomes you to explore mental health in contemporary art and invites you to look around, create and enjoy our bright, new world.”

The project has its own website which you can visit here:
Broken Grey Wires