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  • Writer's pictureSTEVE COOKE AATA


previews, reviews, interviews, and recommendations with Steve Cooke


Ebor Studio and Gallery FRANK

PREVIEW By Steve Cooke

Ebor Studio and Gallery Frank have installed a new billboard display by Vicky Hilton, Joy is an Act of Resistance.

Vicky Hilton explains ‘Joy is the only way for me to sustain activism. Without the intentional use of joy to foster change I find it very difficult to exist in this world. My propulsive urge can easily be shadowed by the hard-hitting reality of life. My work often fuels an emotional response that counteracts oppressive structures and calls for social change which is rooted in hopeful attitudes and resilience. Joy resists the powers of oppressive systems in the world by providing an outlet for hope and creativity, allowing myself and others to counteract despair and fear with moments of celebration and pleasure. I use joy as a form of protest, a symbol of defiance and resistance, a symbolic tool to resist oppressive forces and express rebellion against injustice, inequalities, and discrimination.’

‘I create moments of joy and happiness as a form of push-back against the oppressive elements of society. Joy in this context is seen as a positive form of protest that eschews anger and aggression in order to effect change. It is a way of refusing to be held down by adversity and finding a way to create happiness and hope.’

‘I like to disrupt the expected. Joyful disruptions encourage us to view the world from unexpected perspectives and with a creative mindset. It gives us permission to soar, think new thoughts, and take calculated risks—while still having a healthy dose of playfulness and curiosity. These prompt us to look deeper, to think differently, and try unique approaches to solve everyday challenges. It helps us to be resilient, adaptive, and innovative in ever-changing surroundings. Joyful disruption appeals to the desire to find a sense of pleasure and enthusiasm in the chaos and uncertainty of our lives.’

They also have opened Spiritual Journeys, an exhibition of mixed media and contemporary craft by Cheryl Beswick.

Take a look at the exhibition in their virtual gallery.

Burning Salt (Hannah Hull) has started a monthly group called The Muxic Circle.

The Muxic Circle is an artist-to-artist performance space for womxn, genderqueer and LGBTQIA+ musicians.

Last Mondays 7pm - New members welcome!

Their garden is looking lush and incredible with a massive amount of fruit, veggies, and herbs which they plan on using to make refreshments at events.

The bee hive swarmed during an exhibition opening! Half of the hive flew away to find a new home while the rest stayed in the frame free hive box.

Coming up

Arty Garden Party - Saturday 19th of August

SPUME - Nat#, Saturday the 9th of December

Instagram - @eborstudio

Facebook - @EborStudio


HOME - The Manchester Open is back!


A shout out those who may already identify as artists and those who might not - The Manchester Open is back at HOME.

The Manchester Open 2024 is both a celebration and reminder of the creative talent within Greater Manchester. From Sat 3 Feb to Sun 28 Apr 2024, the HOME Gallery walls will be filled with work created by you and selected by a panel consisting of art experts and community representatives.

Open to all, including those who may already identify as artists and those who might not, the Manchester Open brings together artwork including paintings, prints, photography, sculpture, ceramics, digital and mixed media, video, audio and more.

Now in its third iteration, they welcome entries from people of any background and level of experience, including established professionals, students, graduates, new and emerging talent, enthusiastic amateurs, and first-time artists.

Artists will be able to submit one artwork so make sure you submit your best piece.

Applications for artists to be part of the 2024 Manchester Open Exhibition will open on Wed 16 Aug, closing on Sun 1 Oct. 

Once live, you will be able to link to the submission portal from the webpage. Please check on Wed 16 Aug and don’t forget to follow on social media for more updates (@homemcr)

HOME are delighted to once again be working with Castlefield Gallery on the selection of this year’s Manchester Open Awards. As always, the People’s Prize will return, giving gallery visitors the opportunity to vote for their favourite artwork.

The submission window will close on Sun 1 Oct, with successful artists notified by the end of November.

The Manchester Open 2024 will run from Sat 3 Feb – Sun 28 Apr 2024.


Sunday 13 August

Milkshake LIVE!

Milkshake! Monkey is back and can’t wait to put on a spectacular NEW Show for you all, joined by some of his favourite Milkshake! friends plus two Milkshake Presenters creating the most dazzling show you have ever seen!

Join Paddington, Daisy & Ollie, Milo, Noddy, Pip and Posy, Blue’s Clues & You! and of course Milkshake! Monkey for an unforgettable family time at Milkshake Monkey’s Musical!

Learn the amazing songs and dances with your favourite Milkshake! friends and watch as the music, the lights, the costumes, and the stage brings Milkshake! to life. With great Milkshake friends, anything is possible.

This brand-new show has plenty of laughter, audience interaction and great fun to get everyone up on their feet! It’s a family show not to be missed!

Milkshake! Live “Milkshake! Monkey’s Musical is produced by Mark Thompson Productions Limited in partnership with Channel 5 Broadcasting. Written by Miranda Larson, with creative direction and choreography by Derek Moran.

Tickets from £15.50

Phone: Middleton Arena 0300 303 8633 


11.30am and 3pm

Middleton Arena, LCpl Joel Halliwell VC Way, Middleton M24 1AG

Wednesday 16 August 2

Toad Lane Concerts - Rochdale's Weekly Music at Lunchtime

This week we have Angela Rowley soprano and Tim Kennedy piano.

The concert series has been held at St Mary’s since 2001 and was granted the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2020… during the pandemic!

Running every Wednesday, Music at Lunchtime is a weekly live classical music concert series that has been going since the 1960s. The sessions were initially run at the old Rochdale Art Gallery by the local authority, but since May 2001 have been run by volunteer-enthusiasts and artistic director, Dr Joe Dawson.


Phone: Dr Joe Dawson 01706 648872

Doors open 12noon, concert starts 12.30pm - 1.30pm

St Mary in the Baum, Toad Lane/St Mary's Gate, Rochdale OL16 1DZ

Thursday 17 August

Get It ON

It’s time to bang a gong and Get it On for – one night of glam rock!

From the producers who brought you hit show – Lost in Music!

Girls rock your boys as we bring you the biggest glam rock show of a generation!

An outrageous celebration of a golden age, live on stage. The costumes, the make-up, the music.

You ain’t seen nothing yet! So, bring your tiger feet and join us for a night like no other.

We will transport you back to a time dreams were made of! Featuring the biggest hits from T.Rex, Mud, Slade, Bowie, Suzi Quattro, Wizzard, Sweet and many more. Come on feel the noize and dress to impress for this feel-good show of the year!

This is a tribute show and is in no way affiliated with any original artists/estates/management companies or similar shows. Promoter reserves the right to alter the programme.

Tickets from £28

Phone: Middleton Arena

0300 303 8633 



Middleton Arena, LCpl Joel Halliwell VC Way, Middleton M24 1AG

celebrating creative arts and artists - an oasis of positivity supporting individual and community wellbeing.

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