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LOTO goes to Manchester

The ‘Life on the Outskirts’ project involves students from Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Leeds and Kingston University. During the project, three workshops will be hosted in these locations, with students from each institution being invited to take part in a long-term mentoring programme that works towards a final exhibition. This exhibition will be inspired by their encounters with the Helen Storey Foundation (HSF) archive.

We are excited to be commencing the touring workshops, with the first session in Manchester on 12th October. Participants at the Manchester session will be lucky to have Professor Helen Storey and Caroline Coates, from the Helen Storey Foundation in attendance. Both will be bringing a selection of objects from the HSF archive for the students to engage with. We hope to encourage a variety of inspired responses to the items presented, and have attempted to remove all barriers which might prevent creative interaction; students can utilise any materials they see fit and produce work in any manner. There is no ‘brief’ or expected outcome – making this an exciting venture into creative freedom. We are interested to know, however, how interaction with the archive may be impacted by the presence of the material’s owner. Will those involved be more restrained in their interpretations and outputs? We may learn more about what the effect Helen’s presence at the Manchester event has in comparison to later workshops.

Student mentoring sessions will follow each workshop. At the Manchester session the students will be split into smaller groups and given half an hour to meet with the project team. Attendees have been asked to bring something they have made (or a photograph of the object). These images will be used as a prompt to discuss the student’s influences, ideas and practices. We hope that the intimate
mentoring sessions will produce some interesting questions and opinions regarding the role of the archive, and its potential reach.

Those involved in the mentoring scheme will be asked to keep a documentary journal as they reflect on the themes of ‘Life on the Outskirts’ project and work towards the final exhibition. Each participant will also be producing a blog post regarding their progress and ideas. These online journal entries will be displayed at this page, which we hope to update this on a weekly basis. We look forward to the first student’s blog going live soon.