Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Visiting Artist: Tony Trehy

Tony Trehy, text-poet and curator of Bury Art gallery visited the Academy this week to give a talk about his work. Tony talked about his approach to writing and read some extracts from his latest book of poetry, 50 Heads. He also shared ideas about his curatorial work at Bury Art Gallery and the success he has had in bringing internationally renowned artists to work there. A number of members from the Art Academy presented recent work after the talk.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Visiting Artists: Terry Smith & Chloe Briggs

On Monday, artists, Chloe Briggs and Terry Smith made journeys from Paris and London respectively to visit us here at Islington Mill. Chloe and Terry were introduced to the Art Academy through the letter that we contributed to the Art Monthly 'Future of art education' debate and were interested to know more about the workings of the group.

Chloe is an artist and tutor at the Parsons school of Art and Design in Paris while Terry is an artist and drawing fellow at the Wimbledon College of Art in London. They both have a personal interest in art education having written on the subject and have both employed experimental teaching methods in their practice.

We gave them a tour of Islington Mill, introducing them to the way in which we work. We talked about our ideas for our education and how we are trying to achieve this through the Art Academy. We hope to work on some projects with Chloe and Terry in the near future.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Art Academy at Transmission Gallery

Islington Mill Art Academy are taking part in a show called Moot Points taking place at Transmission Gallery in Glasgow throughout November. They will be there from Monday 3rd till Sat 8th November and will be organising a range of events during this time. For anyone who will be in Glasgow during that time you are more than welcome to come along:

The timetable of events is below. To get in touch;

Email: artacademy@islingtonmill.com Tel: 07917714369 | 07876617711




Details of Event


10.30am onwards

The Gallery is Open: Please join us for a Monday morning at Transmission Gallery as we welcome and begin the first day of Moot Points. Members of Islington Mill Art Academy will be serving tea/coffee and fresh Transmission bread baked mysteriously during the night. We will be discussing events and activity planned for the week ahead and will be wide-awake and willing to answer any questions you may have. All welcome!



Reading Capital: A fortnightly reading group at The Salford Restoration Office, Salford dedicated to reading, in its entirety, Karl Marx's Capital Vol. 1: A Critique of Political Economy. We have organised a simultaneous reading group to take place at Transmission coinciding with the third session of Reading Capital in Salford. We will be discussing the text in conjunction with David Harvey's online lectures. Harvey, a respected academic and writer, has been teaching open classes on the book for 40 years, and the current set of lectures given at the City University of New York have been filmed and made available on-line - http://davidharvey.org/. Please send us an email if you would like a copy of the text in advance.


12 noon

Drawing Club: Sapna Agarwal presents an afternoon of games, drawing with and from memory, including one made famous by Whistler in the text "Painting as a Pastime", by Winston Churchill, which is to be read in the gallery on the following day (5/11/08). Some refreshments and materials will be provided and all are welcome to attend.



The Free University at Saltoun Arts Project, 1987 – 1991: The Free University started in early 1987 and emerged out of various events across the areas of education, art, politics and  literature. It proposed an inter-disciplinary approach to learning not based on vocational skills, and to challenge the loss of community and neighbourhood. It intersected with many projects and gave rise to more specific, semi independent interest groups. The FU dispersed around 1991. Some of the original members involved in independent publishing and autonomous art projects at the time including Here & Now, Variant, Edinburgh Review, the Saltoun Art Project, and others - will attempt some observations on the continuities across the two decades. All welcome.




A Joyride in a Paint-box: A reading and discussion group with members of Glasgow Art Club. Texts for this event are: 'Painting as a Pastime', Winston Churchill, 1932 and 'Moot Points', Walter Crane. Please send us an email if you would like a copy of the texts in advance. All welcome.



Experimental Writing Workshop: led by Michael Wilson. In this writing workshop we will use Polaroids of local public text to create pieces of experimental writing. This piece is borne out of a collaboration between Islington Mill Art Academy, poets and workshop organisers from all over Glasgow. The activity has been developed between the poets, who include workshop organisers from Glasgow University creative writing department and the Mitchell Library. Will we focus on speed, dynamism and group collaboration, everyone welcome.


2pm – 3.30pm

Them and Us: A workshop with John Powles from The Centre for Political Song exploring the origins and tradition of political folk song and its continuing relevance today. The Centre for Political Song is an archive and research centre based at Glasgow Caledonian University. It exists to promote and foster an awareness of all forms of political song; an appreciation of the role of political song in the social, political and cultural life of communities; and to facilitate research in relevant areas of study, whilst remaining free from any political bias.



An Evening of Political Song
with bands and musicians from Glasgow selecting and playing songs from the archives of the Centre for Political Song. Music courtesy of The Tremenduloes, Foxface, Alaistair Huwlett, Plates and Jocky Venkataram.



Comic Jam: led by Heather Williams. Comic Jams involve the creation of a comic by multiple artists, often without a script to work from. This event will explore unusual themes, games and experiments in storytelling using image sequences. All abilities and skills are welcomed.



Cinema in Sections: Dr. Jekyll & Mr Hyde:
Cinema in sections will present Stevenson's familiar narrative as a installational cinematic experience composed of existing adaptations. Echoing the mid 20th century cinema goings of Bresson and Vache who often spent their days wandering from cinema to cinema watching only incomplete sections of a film before moving to the next; Cinema in sections will break up the usual passivity of the cinematic experience and present a multi-state narrative, navigated according to the subjective whim of the viewer.



Strawberry Switchblade: The Fans Convention:
Andrew Beswick from Islington Mill Art Academy will be using his week in Glasgow to assess the legacy of the 1980's Glasweigan pop duo, Strawberry Switchblade. Andrew will be making a film of his exploits during the week in addition to holding a convention for fans of the band. If you are an admirer of Strawberry Switchblade or know someone who is, please get in touch with Andrew at artacademy@islingtonmill.com



Band by Night: Maria Dada of Islington Mill Art Academy will present a showcase of new bands and music collectives that are only a few hours old. Prior to this, Maria will be inviting and selecting 10 persons to an afternoon session at Transmission where they will form a number of musical groupings. With Maria's guidance and direction, each of these groups will present the outcome of their collaborations at the showcase gig in Transmission later in the evening. If you are interested in taking part in this ambitious feat of social engineering, get in touch with Maria at artacademy@islingtonmill.com Previous musical expertise is not required.


Events taking place throughout the week:




Details of Event

03/11/08 – 09/11/08


Breakfast at Transmission: Islington Mill Art Academy will be hosting a daily breakfast at Transmission during the inaugural week of Moot Points. Breakfast discussion topics will be focused on a critique of the previous days activity in the gallery space. The aim of these sessions is in building an element of evaluation into the gallery program as it is unfolding. The breakfasts are open to all and to aid the process of evaluation, the group will invite a specific person to anchor the debate each day. Tea/coffee and fresh bread from the Transmission overnight bakery will be served. Please bring anything else that you would like to eat.





The Realest:is an occasional zine/publication produced by the people behind 'Comfortable on a Tightrope', the Manchester based live music and art night. Inspired by the scientific/humanist periodical, 'The Realist', the aim of the publication is to produce something real, earnest or sincere. The current issue takes for its theme, Black Mountain College. During the week at Transmission, Comfortable on a Tightrope aim to produce a new issue of 'The Realest' which will document and respond to events unfolding at Transmission. Richard Perry and Laetitia Glenton who make up COAT will be working in the gallery space throughout the week to make this happen. They welcome your ideas, input and contributions.





Amy Pennington from Islington Mill Art Academy will spend her week in Glasgow keeping an eye on the threshold of Transmission, those that are outside, those that are in. Amy will be engaging with the public using text-based works which will be presented in the gallery over the course of the week. 





Picture Booth
: For one week only, your chance to have your picture taken in the only machine of its kind.  Running from Monday till Thursday alongside all of the other events at Transmission this week.

03/11/08 –



Aye-Aye Bibliotechnic: Aye-Aye Books is an independent publisher and bookseller based in Glasgow and Salford, steered by Sapna Agarwal and Martin Vincent.

The Aye-Aye Bibliotechnic is a small library of books dedicated to the themes and activities of the Islington Mill Art Academy, Moot Points and the expanded field in which they graze.

The books come largely from the personal collections of Agarwal and Vincent with additional sequestrations from the stock of the Aye-Aye Books retail operation.

Saturday, 4 October 2008


What is the Future of Art Education?A debate about the future of art education is raging on the pages of Art Monthly. In September and October readers will have the opportunity to come along and put their questions to one of two panels of educational professionals and policy makers. The debates will take place in London and Birmingham. The panels will debate the future of art education: is further privatisation, corporatisation and instrumentalism inevitable or are there alternatives? They will respond directly to the question What is the Future of Art Education? Monday October 6 2008, 6.30-8.30pm Ikon Gallery1 Oozells Square, BrindleyplaceBirmingham, B1 2HSThis event is free but booking is recommended.To book call 0121 248 0708.

Morry's letter published in Art Monthly

Monday, 28 July 2008

Kurt Schwitters Merz Barn Residency

Islington Mill Art Academy has recently returned from a week-long residency at the Cylinders Estate in Elterwater, Cumbria. The site is currently being restored and developed as a centre dedicated to the memory of the German Dada artist, Kurt Schwitters. Schwitters worked on the third and final of his Merzbau projects, the Merz Barn in the last year of his life (1947/1948) at Cylinders. The original barn still remains on the site, however one of the walls was taken to the Hatton Gallery in Newcastle in 1965. 

The group used the time to reflect on the development of the Art Academy, one year on from its formation, on how we have developed as artists during this time and how we can progress into the future. The residency was a valuable opportunity to spend time in a peaceful and inspiring landscape and to make work in a contrasting environment to the urban setting in which the group is based. The spirit and legacy of Kurt Schwitters is still very much present at Cylinders and many of us felt inspired to make work in response to this. Cylinders and the Merz Barn residency project is managed and developed by the Littoral Arts Trust.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Posters in 2 Parts

A combination of exhibition, gig and poster making party organised by Maurice Carlin of Islington Mill Art Academy. Reference material was available including Japanese 'Little Theatre' posters, psychedelic posters from the 1970's and a collection of 1980's gig posters from Manchester. Live music was provided by Voida Voida, A Middle Sex and Amy Pennington as well as a few unscheduled and very improvised sets close to the end of the evening! All posters made on the evening have been archived.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Summer Al Fresco Cinema

Film & Video Lunch & Dinner returned to Islington Mill on Monday evening for a special Summer outdoor cinema. Managing to find a 90 min slot between light rain showers, we showed 'Chronicle of a Summer' by Jean Rouch. BBQ and food was kindly provided once again by Ruth. We are planning further outdoor events to take place later in the Summer in the now very beautiful and floral yard at Islington Mill.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Reading Group with Joseph Brotherton 1783 - 1857

A reading group with other events at the Joseph Brotherton Statue, Riverside Walk, Manchester. Music and refreshments will be provided. Please come along.

Monday 14th July 2pm - 7pm.

We will be discussing three texts which are connected by the idea of the 'Art School'. They are:

'The Education of the Un-Artist, Part 1' Allan Kaprow 1971
'The Proto-Academy' Charles Esche 2001
'Opting Out' JJ Charlesworth 2008

Please email us if you would like a copy of these writings in advance.
NB. Riverside Walk does not appear on any map of Manchester. To find it, walk down Bridge St.  leaving Manchester till you reach Albert Bridge. On your right hand side, there are some steps leading down to the banks of the R. Irwell. We will be there.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Free Art School Berlin - Program of Events.

Islington Mill Art Academy                                              
Free Art School -27th May - 8th June.
Westgermany, Skalitzer Str 133, Kreuzberg, Berlin.

Contact: artacademy(at)islingtonmill.com            UK: 00447917714369  Germany: 015204290418

Wed 28th May. 4pm-8.30pm. Initial meeting at Westgermany. This is a chance for persons who have contacted us about the Free Art School to come along to Westgermany to meet with us. We will be serving up Yorkshire tea and biscuits and it will be a good opportunity to talk with us about the upcoming activities at Westgermany. Please come along!

Fri 30th May. 1pm - 2pm. Lunchtime Film Screening at Westgermany. 'A Distinctly Trippy Edge' is a selection of film curated by artist, Gaz Leddington. A mixture of artist film and video, archival footage and excerpts from feature length pictures, 'A distinctly trippy edge' is an hour long meditation on the cultural climate of the 1960's. Part curatorial endeavour and part artwork the show reel takes the various fictional and non-fictional instances of Don DeLillo's 'Underworld' as its organising principle and in a compressed format, attempts to chronicle the ethos of the time.
Please bring along something for your lunch and join us to watch this selection of film.

Sat 31st May. 1pm - 5pm. Drawing Club. Artist, Sapna Agarwal has devised a range of drawing games and activities to be interpreted by the Free Art School. We invite you to join us at Westgermany for an afternoon of drawing! Please bring along materials that you would like to use. We will have materials available for you to use also.

Sun 1st June. Midday - 4pm. Breakfast at Skalitzer Str. 33. amy Pennington from Islington Mill Art Academy would like to invite you to a traditional English breakfast at the apartment (vegetarian option available). There are a limited number of places for this so please email us if you would like to come along.
More information on Skalitzer Str 33: A number of artist groups and individuals from Manchester, Uk have taken on a year-long lease on this space which began on May 1st this year. We see this initiative as a good opportunity to strengthen links between Manchester and Berlin, to create dialogue and build relationships between artists from both cities. Islington Mill Art Academy will be the first of many groups from Manchester to stay in the apartment over the coming year. We hope that you will have the chance to meet with them in the coming months.

Sun 1st June. 7pm - 10pm. Fluxus Experimental Workshop. We invite you to join us in a series of fluxus inspired activities, interventions and random play. This workshop will be a re-interpretation of key performances from the 1960's art group by artists such as Yoko Ono and George Brecht. You can find information about the work of Fluxus at: www.fluxus.org

Mon 2nd June. 11am start. Film re-enactment. Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror, the German expressionist film by F.W. Murnau is the focus of a film re-enactment project by a group of artists from Manchester including members of Islington Mill Art Academy. We will meet at Westgermany at 11am to watch excerpts and discuss sections from the film. Following this, we will venture out into the city with film cameras to re-enact and film sections from the movie. We invite you to join us in this activity. The project is an ongoing self-directed activity by the artists involved. In this sense, it has no fixed outcome, instead allowing each development of the project to suggest the next stage. The recordings and decisions taken in Berlin will contribute to a collection of film recordings and documentation from the entire group. It is hoped that collaborators from Berlin will continue working with us on this project in the future and/or choose to develop sister projects from Berlin.

Mon 2nd June. 7pm - 8.30pm. Reading Group at Westgermany. The Salford Restoration Office reading group is a weekly discussion group reading cultural theory and philosophy at Salford Restoration Office, Salford, Manchester every Monday evening, meeting at 6pm. We have organised a simultaneous reading group to take place in Berlin at Westgermany. We will read and discuss the same text that is being read in Manchester. The text for discussion this week will be the introduction to In a Queer Time and Place by Judith Halberstam. We will send an email link to this text prior to the day and will also have a few spare copies to hand on the evening.

Tue 3rd June. 12 midday. Artist Talk: Nick Crowe is an artist based in Manchester and Berlin. His work encompasses a range of strategies which explore the role of technology and its contingent effects on everyday life. He has a specific interest in the use of glass as a contemporary material and has worked extensively with digital media making works for gallery and internet presentation. More information is available at www.nickcrowe.net

Tue 3rd June. 8pm. Poetry Reading at Westgermany. Michael Wilson and Andrew Beswick from Islington Mill Art Academy will be reading from selections of their own work and other writing that has inspired them. Prior to this, Andrew will be collecting poetry from Berliners in various locations of the city throughout the day. The reading will be informal and open to people who would like to read from their own writing so please feel free to bring along your own work!

Wed 4th June. 4.30pm. Walking Tour of Skulpturen Park, Kommandantenstrasse / Neue Grunstrasse, lead by Hannah zinecker. Meeting point to be announced by email in advance.

Fri 6th June. 9pm onwards. All the Critics Love U in New York. Artist, Yuen Fong Ling invites you to take part in a public life class with members of the Islington Mill Art Academy. A mix of performance, workshop and tutorial, the format is twisted to explore the popular mythology of the life model. All levels of drawing skill are invited, please bring materials with you, some will be provided.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Free Art School-Berlin. 27th May - 8th June

Islington Mill Art Academy will be setting up a temporary free art school in Berlin later this month from 27th May till 8th June 2008. We will be working from an art and music space in Kreuzberg called Westgermany (133 Skalitzer Str.) We are inviting Berliners to join us in a number of activities that we will be organising during our residency there. If you would like to get involved, please email us.

A number of groups and individuals from Manchester (including the Academy) have taken on a year long lease on a flat in Kreuzberg, Berlin so we hope to be spending quite a bit of time in the city over the coming year. We see this as an opportunity to make some strong links between Manchester and Berlin and to create dialogue between artists working in both cities.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Symposium of the Local. Castlefield Gallery

Islington Mill Art Academy are participating in 'Symposium of the Local' at Castlefield Gallery. Conceived by p-10, a curatorial group from Singapore, the exhibition aims to explore how locally based creative industry and artists work in an international arena and the extent to which location, nationality and geography play a role in the production, direction and dissemination of contemporary art.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Visiting Artist: Mary Oliver 07/04/08

On Monday, we were joined by artist, Mary Oliver. Mary talked about her practice and we discussed work including 'Mother Tongue' in which Mary performed in synchrony with herself as her mother and her three sisters and more recent works like 'Fly me to the Moon' and  'Somewhere between Heaven and Earth'. This was followed by members of the Academy in turn presenting recent work. Much of the days discussion was focused on art education with Mary sharing her experiences of working within University based art education.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Film & Video. Lunch & Dinner.

Last Tuesday saw the first of a month long series of films organised by the Art Academy and G. Leddington taking place at Islington Mill. The focus for the inaugural Film & Video Lunch & Dinner was early experimental film and video anthology. Over the next three Tuesdays (25th, 1st and 8th) we will have more films for you. There will be a program of short films at lunchtime, starting 1pm and lasting one hour and then one or two longer feature length films in the evening starting at 7pm. We will be serving food for the evening screnings from 6.30pm. If you would like to come along or would like details of the films we will be showing, please email: artacademy@islingtonmill.com 
We hope to see you there.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Sheffield Gallery Visits

A group trip across the Pennines for the Art Sheffield festival. While there, we took in shows at Bloc, Sylvester Space, Millenium Galleries, S1 artspace, Yorkshire artspace and Site Gallery. The very welcoming people at Bloc showed us round some of the artist studios there. Andrew, who has lived in Sheffield previously was our tour-guide for the day and took us to some places of interest including some George Fullard sculptures and the Blue Moon cafe. We were accompanied on the trip by some artists from Italy and Romania, Teresa, Gigliola and Madalin who have been staying with us at Islington Mill for the past week while working on a project with Salford University.

Monday, 18 February 2008

14/02/08 Visiting Artist: Philip Davenport

Last Thursday we were joined by poet and artist, Philip Davenport at the Art Academy. Philip gave us an introduction to his work and brought along some examples from a piece of work called 'Imaginary Missing People' to discuss. We first encountered Philips work at Mid-Pennine Gallery when we went on a group visit there for the 'Language and Science' show last year. We had the very strange and enlightening experience of talking with Philip over speaker-phone about his piece of work while we were in the gallery that day. After Philips talk, we each discussed our own individual practice and the collective work we have been doing as a group.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Bristol visit

Last week we went to explore Bristol's Art scene.

We visited Cube, Microplex Cinema and Venue which is run by a group of voluntary artists and promoters.
We also visited Spike Island, a studio and gallery complex which is home to UWE fine art students. It began its life as an artist led initiative and has now grown into a center for new and innovative art. We had the opportunity to visit the studio space occupied by the UWE students as well as a complete tour of the building. 

We then headed for the headquarters of the Art organization Plan 9 who were more than happy to show us around their studios in the old police station. They gave us lots of information on their future plans as well as talking to us about their individual projects.

Friday, 18 January 2008

Writing Residency by Anni Rossi & Rollin Hunt

Anni Rossi and Rollin Hunt from Chicago joined the Art Academy for the first month of 2008 to undertake a writing residency here at Islington Mill. This was their first time to record music together. They recorded four songs during their time here, New Years, The Husband, Pamphlet and The Bum. You can listen to them here:
Rollin and Anni also played a number of gigs while they were here, The Islington Mill Xmas Party on 22nd Dec, The Britons Protection Monthly on 6th Jan and The Klondyke Club on 18th Jan. They also worked on a project with Morry called The Writing Room. Following conversations with Anni and Rollin about their writing process, Morry set up a space at the mill with objects, books, chairs, tables, biscuits, drawing and writing tools. Rollin and Anni spent a period of time talking, relaxing, working and writing in the room. The result of the collaboration is ongoing.