Tag Archives: industrial revolution

Industrial Revolutionaries: People who shaped the Modern World

“The eyes of the working classes are now fully opened, they begin to cry: Our St. Petersburg is at Preston!” Karl Marx, 1854

Curators at The Harris in Preston are busy putting together a fantastic exhibition which looks at the people in Preston who helped shape the world we live in today.

Industrial Revolutionaries opens 26 June until 6 November 2010

Employee worker relations, child labour, alcohol and the need for temperance, impending elections with surprise results, penal reform, and economic success for our manufacturing industries; the very issues that concern us in 2010 were preoccupying the people of Preston 150 years ago. People in Preston created a new industrial world and then fought to redress the problems of inequality caused by industrialisation through radical social reform and political activism. Preston is a microcosm for understanding the North West of England’s industrial pioneers and their ideas; ideas that shaped the modern world.

Lock-out and strike cartoon 1853-54 (courtesy Lancashire Record Office)

Teetotal teapot - Preston is the birthplace of teetotalism where Joseph Livesey in 1832 started his Temperance Movement, requiring followers to pledge total abstinence. Harris Museum & Art Gallery

Industrial Revolutionaries is a major new temporary exhibition at the Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston. It spans 150 years with the key personalities and the movements they created– its influence, its history and its global impact – revealed through over 70 objects including portraits, major loans and key collection items, some newly conserved and on display for the first time.

Multi-sensory and hands-on, the exhibition puts people’s stories at the forefront.  Visitors will discover the connection between familiar historical figures and lesser-known individuals. They will see how the actions of these people in Preston contributed to the Industrial Revolution:

Sir Richard Arkwright: Preston-born inventor of the water-frame, entrepreneur and developer of the factory system, Arkwright rose to become the richest commoner in the country.

Charles Dickens: author and social commentator, who visited Preston during the lock-out and strile of 1853, no doubt influencing his novel Hard Times.

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were also writing about these events and asking will Preston be a test case for proletarian revolution?

Elizabeth Gaskell, author with a social agenda, influenced by events during the lock-out and strike of 1853-54. She fictionalised Preston weaver and orator George Cowell in her novel North and South.

Joseph Livesey: Champion of the poor and temperence campaigner.

Henry Hunt: Preston’s first radical MP and people’s hero.

Father Joseph ‘Daddy’ Dunn: Well respected and affectionately nick-named, he pioneered Preston’s achievement of being the first gas-lit town in Britain.

Rev. John Clay: Prison chaplain and reformer in the fields of crime and public health

Annie Hill: Half-time child mill worker and unusual in the fact that her portrait was painted by artist Patti Mayor

John and Samuel Horrocks: industrial innovators who developed the Yard Works and created Britain’s largest cotton-manufacturing company and factory with world-wide connections and influences.

Horrockses Yard Works mill model made by Horrockses employees in 1913 for the occasion of the Royal Visit to Preston. Harris Museum & Art Gallery

This brilliant and thought-provoking exhibition also animates one of the museum’s social history collection’s most iconic objects – the Horrockses Yard Works model, a large scale model of a cotton mill. Forerunner of the multinationals, Horrockses was by 1913 Britain’s largest cotton manufacturer with a huge global network. Visitors will experience the world behind the scenes at the enormous mill complex through digital interpretation.

Other exhibits include Joseph Wright of Derby’s portrait of Richard Arkwright, a portrait of Henry Hunt MP, a Tee-Total teapot, the newly conserved tram wagon, Preston Prison whipping horse, specially recorded versions of street ballads plus unseen footage of Preston in North West Film Archive by local filmmakers Will Onda and Mitchell & Kenyon.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Spencer Tunick at The Lowry

After SKV’s brilliant splash in early March across all the mainstream national and regional media announcing the call for nude volunteers for The Lowry’s major new commission by Spencer Tunick, our art-focused campaign is well underway with a good response so far.  Some writers are even keen to get involved with what should be a really exhilarating experience on the day…

Spencer Tunick installation in Helsinki


12 June to 26 September 2010

The Lowry Galleries, Salford

Salford and Manchester provide the backdrop for a new large-scale installation by international artist Spencer Tunick this May, using his favoured material – the nude human body.

This particular installation has been commissioned for The Lowry‘s tenth anniversary. It represents a new departure for Spencer Tunick as he creates his first ever multiple site installation while the project itself is his first visual response to the work of another artist for the entirety of a project – LS Lowry.

The resulting photographic and film work will be shown at The Lowry from 12 June – 26 September as part of the exhibition, Everyday People.

The Lowry in Salford is marking ten years of creative excellence by commissioning New York-based Spencer Tunick to create an installation across eight locations in the two neighbouring cities this May.

The artist is renowned for site-specific landscapes in which he photographs hundreds or even thousands of nude volunteers, and previous installations have been staged in Sydney, London, Montreal, Melbourne, Santiago, Barcelona and Gateshead, featuring mass gatherings of nude participants posed in formations within major urban landscapes.

With the challenge of choosing to create his work across multiple sites, Tunick will also focus on the concept of ‘everyday people’ for the Salford and Manchester installation as a reference to the compositional style of LS Lowry, whose figurative works depict a mass of bodies going about their daily life. In contrast to his usual compositional style, he will break new ground in his approach by capturing the movement of everyday people within each photograph.

The exhibition will reveal Spencer Tunick’s unique photographs taken at each location, and an accompanying film will capture the essence of the installations across Salford and Manchester. The exhibition will also reference Tunick’s work within the broader context of artists working with the human body.

Michael Simpson, The Lowry’s Head of Visual Arts & Engagement says: “The Lowry commissions innovative, engaging and exciting contemporary art and is a key part of both the North West and UK visual art world. Tunick’s work not only reflects and records the landscape of an area but also its people.  The Lowry has spent ten years delighting, engaging and challenging both local and national audiences with the very best in visual art and performance. This exhibition celebrates our achievements and signals our continuing ambition.”

Spencer Tunick explains, “Salford and Manchester presents an intriguing prospect for my latest UK installation based both on the rich industrial heritage that exists across both cities and the art of LS Lowry. LS Lowry’s paintings depicting the mass of everyday people who contributed to the industrial machine of the 20th century, also provide an interesting frame of reference in terms of the compositional possibilities of the installations.”

To illuminate Everyday People further, The Lowry has commissioned a series of critical essays around the work of Spencer Tunick, the first of which, by Sarah Kent, will be published at http://www.thelowry.com/spencertunick on 6 April.

Spencer Tunick’s temporary site-specific installations have been commissioned by the XXV Biennial de Sao Paulo, Brazil (2002); Institut Cultura, Barcelona (2003); The Saatchi Gallery (2003); MOCA Cleveland (2004) and the Vienna Kunsthalle (2008) among others.

The Lowry is delighted to present Everyday People with the generous support of Arts Council England Sustain fund.

Editors Notes

The Lowry celebrates its 10th anniversary on 28 April 2010 and has spent 10 years delighting, engaging and challenging both local and national audiences with the very best in visual art and performance. The Lowry Centre Trust is a not-for-profit charitable organisation and registered charity (no. 1053962). All income supports our world-class Theatres and Galleries programme, the care and display of the LS Lowry Collection and our life-changing Community and Education work. The Lowry’s Chief Executive, Julia Fawcett was awarded an OBE for services to the Arts in the Queen’s 2010 New Year Honours list.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized