Oldham exhibition set to shine a light on inspirational women

Date published: 22 February 2024

An exhibition showcasing local women and the women who have inspired them is to launch at 1853 Studios and Gallery in Westwood on International Women’s Day on Friday, March 8.

The exhibition is the result of a series of workshops throughout February, with women from a variety of backgrounds who attend the Chai Women’s Project in Werneth, Hope Restoration in Sholver and Moorside and SAWN in Chadderton.

The project has been led by Lingua Franca World Community CIC, who are based in 1853 studios, thanks to funding from Arts Council England.

Lingua Franca runs collaborative arts projects aimed at raising understanding across diverse communities.

Founder and Creative Director, Geli Berg, explains where the thinking of the project, which is called 'The Women Who Light Our Path', came from.

“I wanted to track if Oldham women had female role models and whether they differed with women from different cultural backgrounds," she said.

"It has been very enlightening.

"Asian women, for example, were most likely to choose female members of their own families, such as their mothers or grandmothers, as their role models, whereas the British often chose members of the Royal Family.

"There were also cross-cultural role models, such as Oprah Winfrey.

"Few women, as yet, have actually identified women from their own local community.”

Those taking part will have the opportunity to be photographed by renowned Greater Manchester portrait photographer, Tanya Weeks.

The exhibition is one of a series of exhibitions which are programmed and being curated for 1853 Studios and Gallery by the venue’s Creative Director, Luca Shaw, and Venue Manager, Rachel Nettles.

They are determined to put 1853 Studios and Gallery on the map as a go-to space for arts and community events.

Luca said: “We are excited that Lingua Franca World Community CIC has chosen to hold this important exhibition here at 1853 Studios.

"It will enable us to engage with, and introduce our beautiful space to, more of our local diverse communities.”

The launch of the exhibition will take place between 6-9 pm on Friday, March 8, and it will also be open for pre-booked private and group viewings on the two following Saturdays: March 9 and 16.

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