Factory International - Empowering The Next Generation of Northern Artists

Factory International announces a series of groundbreaking initiatives aimed at empowering and showcasing the talent of Northern artists.
Mag North
March 29, 2024

Factory International is set to ignite the creative landscape of the North West with an ambitious collaboration at Aviva Studios. This summer, the vast warehouse space will play host to two artist collectives, chosen through an open call, who will embark on an immersive journey of artistic exploration and expression.

Jennifer Jackson, Rosie Elnile, and Craig McCorquodale lead the charge with their groundbreaking project, reimagining Aviva Studios as a mock Roman gladiatorial arena. Their vision, fueled by malleable materials like clay, aims to push the boundaries of live art, bringing together a diverse array of performers including wrestlers, marching bands, and a male choir. This dynamic collaboration promises to captivate audiences and challenge conventional notions of performance.

Meanwhile, the collective 54: Manchester, comprising Joshua Inyang, Joshua Tarelle (Space Afrika), Tibyan Mahawah Sanoh, and Jaqhira Henry, will delve into the rich tapestry of their heritage and culture. Through an immersive audio-visual installation, they seek to explore the interconnectedness of their identities, offering a contemporary and authentic portrayal of the Black British experience in the North West. Using archival film materials, soundscapes, and material design, they aim to create a transformative space that invites reflection and dialogue.

In addition to these exhilarating artist takeovers, Factory International presents "Reframe: The Director’s Cut," a cinematic celebration of 77 young Black and Black Mixed heritage creatives. This innovative film, born out of the Reframe: The Residency initiative supported by Apple, amplifies the voices of a new generation of artists, offering a poignant reflection on the climate emergency. Drawing inspiration from Planet Summer at London’s Southbank Centre, the film invites viewers on a visual journey, showcasing the diverse perspectives and talents of emerging creatives from Manchester, Birmingham, and London.

Reframe the Director's Cut film still - Tanning on Tarmac - Joshua R Drakes

Furthermore, Factory International is proud to announce the selection of six Fellows from the North, each poised at a transitional stage in their careers. These Fellows, including Elkanah Wilder, Flematu Sessay, Gemma Lees, Maya Chowdry, Seren Marimba, and Tommy Ryoma Hannaway, will gain exclusive access to Factory International commissions and creative teams, receiving mentorship and support to propel their artistic endeavors to new heights.

Factory International's commitment to nurturing emerging talent extends beyond the visual arts to the realm of music. Through the Factory Sounds program, 11 creatives involved in Greater Manchester’s music scene will receive mentoring and financial support, empowering them to pursue their passion and elevate their craft.

Reframe the Director's Cut film still - Guava 1 - Charles Mensah

Additionally, Factory International is providing a platform for emerging fiction writers to showcase their talent. Eight writers from the North will have the opportunity to respond to themes from John Bowen’s cult horror classic, "Robin Redbreast," which serves as the inspiration for an upcoming stage show starring Maxine Peake. Their flash fiction entries will be published on Factory International’s online content platform, Factory+, offering a glimpse into the rich tapestry of storytelling emerging from the region.

With these initiatives, Factory International aims to foster a vibrant and inclusive arts community in the North, empowering artists to dream big and transform their visions into reality. As Aviva Studios becomes a nexus of creativity and innovation, audiences can look forward to a summer filled with inspiration, exploration, and boundary-pushing artistry.