Framework professional development programme 2020

Posted on 22 November 2019

Castlefield Gallery is pleased to be participating in the second FRAMEWORK programme, a cross-art form professional development programme for North-West based artists, makers and photographers.  The 2020 programme focuses on different aspects of communicating about your practice, with day-long workshops covering writing, pitching, project management, getting press and promoting your work. Each session will be led by an arts sector expert. The small group size of 12 to 20, depending on venue, will allow each session to explore a topic in depth through presentations, discussion and practical exercises.

FRAMEWORK is collaboratively developed and delivered by a-n The Artists Information Company, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester Craft & Design Centre and Redeye; the four sessions will take place over 3 months in Manchester.

Ticket prices for all sessions are subsidised for artists by the partner organisations, with further discounts available for a-n members, Castlefield Gallery Associates, Redeye members, Manchester Craft & Design Centre resident/affiliate makers.

To book tickets please follow this link to Eventbrite


Laura Robertson: Writing for Different Audiences
Monday 27 January 2020, 11:00 – 17:00
Venture Arts, 43 Old Birley Street, Hulme, Manchester, M15 5RF.
Venture Arts sessions will be held in the Work for Change building in Hulme, in a fully accessible building with wheelchair access and a disabled toilet.

Write about your own work in your own way. This day-long workshop is for you if: a) writing stresses you out; b) it’s been a while since your last group crit; and/or c) you want to feel more confident about communicating what you do and why you do it. What is an artist’s statement? Simply put, it is an insight into you and your work, whatever form that takes, in your own words. Typically, it is written in the first person. It is a an incredibly useful tool, whether you’re an artist, designer, or photographer, and has many purposes. The process of writing an artist statement can help you to: understand new work or work in progress; describe what you do to potential commissioners; shape exhibition or website text; or apply for funding. It shouldn’t be boring or sound like anyone else’s – it should absolutely reflect your practice. Yes, writing can be challenging, but it’s also exciting, empowering, and liberating. Come with an open mind. This will be a very hands-on/supportive workshop with plenty of fun and speedy writing exercises, collecting words and phrases that best reflect your work. We’ll be: looking at many different types of statement, from well known artists, designers and photographers; feeding back to each other about our existing texts; and really getting to grips with how to write a great, new statement with intent and gusto.

Laura Robertson is a writer, critic and editor based in Liverpool. A reviewer of contemporary arts and culture for international magazines (including Frieze, Hyperallergic, Art Monthly, ArtReview, a-n), and broadcast (BBC Four Front Row), she is also co-founder and contributing editor at The Double Negative online magazine; an MA Writing student at the Royal College of Art; critical writer-in-residence at Open Eye Gallery; and a former director of The Royal Standard Gallery & Studios. She has edited and contributed writing to two new books in 2019: ‘Present Tense’, which comments on current tensions in the fields of art and culture; and ‘NOIT — 5: bodies as in buildings’, made on residency at Flat Time House.

Leona Thrift-O-La: Finding Your Voice
Thursday 13 February 2020, 11:00 – 17:00
Manchester Craft & Design Centre, 17 Oak Street, Manchester, M4 5JD.
Manchester Craft & Design Centre sessions will be held in the accessible project space on the ground floor. The two-storey Victorian building currently has no lift, making first floor access difficult for visitors with mobility restrictions. There is an accessible toilet on the ground floor, and disabled parking bays for Blue Badge holders are available next to the back entrance on Copperas Street.

How to pitch and talk confidently about your work in a variety of situations: * Start with why you do what you do. An Indie Roller values exercise. * You are your superpower, unleash your individuality. *Moving past comparison and dealing with imposter syndrome. *The art of storytelling to build an emotional connection. *How being part of a like-minded community can build self-belief, confidence & motivation. *The secrets and myths of consistency. *Perseverance. Dealing with rejection and how to keep going. *End of session Q&A.

Leona Thrift-O-La is the founder of Indie Roller, a truth telling, secret sharing, myth busting community for independent business owners to play by their own rules. Leona ran a successful Kickstarter campaign in October 2019 to create quality business guidance, support and inspiration and ensure it was accessible to small business owners and freelancers no matter what stage they’re at. If you feel stuck, your business journey lacks clarity or you need a helping hand to get going then Indie Roller could be the magic lightning bolt you need.

Shirley Read and Paul Herrmann: Project Management for Artists and Makers
Tuesday 3 March 2020, 11:30 – 17:00
Venture Arts, 43 Old Birley Street, Hulme, Manchester, M15 5RF.
Venture Arts sessions will be held in the Work for Change building in Hulme, in a fully accessible building with wheelchair access and a disabled toilet.

Are you interested to aim higher, work with others, or deliver creative projects with more impact? This one day workshop uses the example of a group exhibition to work through what’s needed for a successful arts project. Covering research, planning, delivery and evaluation, the workshop will also explore working with groups, and what makes a successful exhibition.

Shirley Read is an independent curator based in London. She currently curates exhibitions for the Idea Store Canary Wharf during the Photomonth International Photography Festival. She has been interviewing photographers about their lives and work for the Oral History of British Photography (part of the National Sound Archive at the British Library) for over twenty years. She teaches at every level of photographic practice and her book Exhibiting Photography (Focal Press 2008 & 2014) has been published in Chinese and English. Her latest book (with Dr Mike Simmons), Photographers and Research: the idea, the process and the project, was published by Focal Press in 2016.

Paul Herrmann is the director of Redeye, a network that has supported hundreds of artists and photographers in building their careers. He is also founder and director of The Photographic Collections Network, which provides knowledge and skills for anyone working with a photo archive or collection. He has particular interests in, and lectures and advises on, group and collaborative projects in the arts, business skills for creative practitioners, and digital legacy.

Jennifer Dean: Getting Press, Promoting Your Practice
Tuesday 24 March 2020, 10:00 – 17:00

Castlefield Gallery, 2 Hewitt Street, Manchester, M15 4GB.
Castlefield Gallery’s entrance is on street level and is wheelchair accessible to all area of the main gallery and upper gallery. An accessible toilet is available in the upper gallery area.

Can you tell the difference between Artrabbit and Art Monthly? Are you flummoxed by the world of online exhibition coverage? Do you know when different publications go to press? Once you have an exhibition or event, what are the best ways to develop an audience for your work? Getting coverage in the mainstream media and arts press continues to be a mystery for many artists and makers. Castlefield Gallery Communications & Audience Development Coordinator Jennifer Dean will give an overview of the media landscape from free listings and local press to Frieze, and talk about ways to get promotion for your exhibition or event, including: identifying your audience; commissioning writers; providing images; formulating press releases for print and online media; nurturing press contacts; the pros and cons of paying for advertising; planning a press campaign. Alongside working at Castlefield Gallery, Jennifer works freelance providing project support, event coordination, marketing, press and PR coordination for cultural projects and individual artists. Past clients include Manchester Histories, Rogue Studios, Manchester Museum, Salford City Council, and Creative Tourist Ltd.

Jennifer Dean has been Communications and Audience Development Coordinator at Castlefield Gallery since 2009. She also works freelance to provide project support, event coordination, marketing, press and PR coordination for cultural projects and artists and in 2012 set up the Manchester Art Walk. Recent projects have included working with Creative Tourist on the Manchester Cultural Destinations Project; working with Rogue Artists’ Studios to raise their profile; working with Manchester Histories on the Community Histories Awards and Manchester Histories Festival and early development of the Peterloo Commemorations; providing PR for the opening of The Study, a brand new space at Manchester Museum, and providing temporary Marketing and Communications support for the British Ceramics Biennial.


A limited number of places will be available for each session so we recommend booking early. Sessions are booked individually and you can attend as many or as few sessions as you would like to. Prices per session are indicated below.

Standard Admission £25.00
Concessions – £22.50 – Students, Unemployed, Registered Disabled, OAPs
Member or Associate £20.00  – a-n member, CG Associate, Redeye member, Manchester Craft & Design Centre resident/affiliate maker

All prices are significantly subsidised by the organisations with the aim of making high quality professional development support more accessible for artists and creative practitioners.
Refreshments will be provided but attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunch.

To book tickets please follow this link to Eventbrite

If you have any questions regarding ticketing please contact


a-n The Artists Information Company is the largest artists’ membership organisation in the UK with over 22,000 members. We support artists and those who work with them in many practical ways, acting on behalf of our membership and the visual arts sector to improve artists’ livelihoods. a-n has a reputation for providing compelling insights and playing a catalytic role in influencing and informing cultural policy. The a-n membership benefits from access to insurance, bursaries, jobs and opportunities, events and resources. Our mission is to stimulate and support contemporary visual arts practice and affirms artists’ value in society through advocacy and information from the perspective of artists.

Since its founding in 1984, Castlefield Gallery has been one of Northern England’s most active and successful organisations/agencies for developing emerging contemporary artists and practice. Its ambitious curated exhibitions programme responds to national and international trends, promoting artists at key stages of their careers, including subsequent Turner Prize nominees/winners and exhibitors at international festivals. Central to Castlefield Gallery’s activities is an artist development programme that has launched major commission-winning artists. Castlefield Gallery’s vision is for the North to be a place where artists can live and produce work, while presenting their work in national and international contexts. Its mission is to nurture talent, explore cultural trends and deepen the audience’s relationship to contemporary art.

An oasis of calm in the city – Manchester Craft & Design Centre is just five minutes from Manchester’s main shopping areas of Market Street, the Arndale Centre and Afflecks Palace. Situated in the heart of Manchester’s vibrant Northern Quarter with its coffee shops, restaurants, bars and independent retailers, our Victorian building – once the home of the city’s retail fish market – now features two floors of contemporary craft studios but is still complete with many of its original and quirky fixtures and fittings. Manchester Craft & Design Centre hosts an exciting and varied exhibitions programme, showcasing the very best of both British and international contemporary craft and design. Our popular events programme gives visitors the opportunity to learn craft skills from our resident artists and exhibitors, and aspiring or established designer-makers a range of professional development activities as part of the Manchester Craft & Design Network.

Redeye, the Photography Network is all about networking, support and information for photographers or anyone interested in photography. We are a not-for-profit Community Benefit Society which means everything we do has to benefit our community of photographers. We have a packed events programme including talks from photographers, advice sessions including critiques and fun creative workshops where photographers can learn something new. We also promote opportunities for photographers, share advice blogs and help spread the word on exhibitions across the UK all via our website and social media. Importantly, we are a membership organisation so our members get access to our portfolio website, a discount on hire equipment and Redeye events plus other exclusive opportunities we are regularly sent by partners.