On Tuesday 7 August, a group of artists will be walking from The Sale to Tamworth and would love to hear from you. Join them and walk and talk for a while; they want to hear your stories and they want to share theirs.
Inspired by the Blanketeers of 200 years ago who marched to London from Manchester to protest pay and working conditions, artist Lauren Sagar, along with two other artists, will spend August re-tracing their steps.
Artist Lauren Sagar was inspired by the Blanketeers, who set off from Manchester in 1817 to highlight the desperate hardship faced by textile workers in the North West. The March was one of a series of events culminating in the Peterloo massacre two years later, and led to parliamentary reform, and many of the workers rights that we now benefit from in the UK.
Lauren’s focus is the diminishing number of artists studios in city centres as they are lost to developers who turn them into luxury flats. Keep artists visible! They are a valid section of the British workforce.
Over the 28 day walk the artists will gather and share stories, hold organised and impromptu debates and discussions, and create art as they go; as well as documenting their journey with a view to using their experiences to develop new work.
Hundreds of Blanketeers set off from Peter’s Field, many were turned back by the cavalry, a very large number were arrested, and one man was killed, all of this before they reached Macclesfield, some 20 miles away. Of the five thousand that set off only one man, Abel Cauldwell, reached London.
This project is a collaborative piece; Lauren is joined by photographer John-Paul Brown and theatre-maker Eve Robertson.
Having secured Arts Council funding they begin the walk on 29th July and will take 28 days to reach London. En-route there will be performances, creative activity workshops and an on-going discussion about artist visibility. Like the Blanketeers, artists are in a moment of evolution.
The displacement of the city’s artists due to intense property development is stimulating a number of artist-led projects to become autonomous and sustainable, this is our way to create some change.
Below, you can read more about each of the artists taking part.
Lauren Sagar’s art projects are about storytelling and shared experience.
Through conversations with artists and members of the public, she creates visual art as a response to this collaborative process.
Using mixed media, including glass, jewellery, textiles, Lauren’s sculptures tour public spaces such as libraries, council offices and hospitals, as well as galleries, often growing as they tour. Her work also includes permanent public installations in Manchester and London.
In 2014 she won the Best Arts Project award for The Chandelier Of Lost Earrings
Actress and theatre-maker.
Recent work includes Queens Of The Coal Age by Maxine Peake, Royal Exchange, Manchester; That Day It Came, 2016; Home is a Journey 2015.
Has worked extensively in the UK and U.S.
The Master of the long walk, last year John-Paul walked 250 miles to Glastonbury to raise money for Give Blood.