Pictures from the first weekend of November 2023, when we welcomed local artists and writers to UNITOM to celebrate the launch of the latest issue of The Greenhouse magazine on the theme of ‘Time’. The Greenhouse is an arts and literature magazine based in Macclesfield that publishes new works in poetry, art, fiction, and reviews by creatives in the North West. We held a series of artist and writer-led events, workshops, and talks hosted by contributors featured in the magazine alongside a pop-up exhibition of sculpture and collage.
Books, Bones, and Broken things
Erika Groeneveld in conversation with the editor of The Greenhouse Tom England; discussing assemblage and the joy and creative power of temporary obsessions. Erika talked about her magpie-like eye for intriguing overlooked objects, her belief that sculpture should be interacted with, and the sensory nature of her pieces. It was lovely to explore the display, Erika encourages people to touch, hold, and even smell her pieces (they smelt incredible, wood and paper treated with beeswax!).
Erika Groeneveld moved from the Netherlands to Macclesfield in 2010 where she joined ‘twentysevenb’ studio. After years of primarily working in paint, she has returned to her first love; making sculptural work. She finds inspiration in nature, resulting in a hoard of treasures collected on her travels. Erika assembles and sometimes alters these found objects, opening up the possibility to weave together stories and meaning by combining objects or materials with previous lives and existing connotations. Erika wants to convey intangible thoughts and feelings, working with objects and materials that carry associations and emotional weight for her audiences. You can find more on Erika’s sculptural work in The Greenhouse #4.
Collaging The Coast
Mike Thorpe on the wild Cornish coast, capturing colour and sound, and art-making from within the storm. These beautiful collages were made in response to a residency in a remote cottage that coincided with the hurricane-strength winds of Storm Noa battering the coastline. Mike spoke about the possibilities of collage as a medium to respond to a layered landscape; exploring the human impacts on place, both modern and ancient, both subtle and brutal, and how these natural and human histories shift and stratify to create the complex coast-scapes of contemporary Cornwall. Read more about ‘noa: notes from the margins’ in The Greenhouse, or in Mike’s zine documenting the project.
Mike Thorpe is an artist, graphic designer and curator who runs the artists’ collective, ‘twentysevenb’ studio in Macclesfield. Mike’s practice is a response to the memories and observations of places; real and imagined. He uses a wide range of media; from projected images onto exterior surfaces, to photography, collage and painting. Mike collaborates in areas of poetry, printmaking, ceramics, and sculpture; to curate group exhibitions that create intriguing and engaging spaces. He is a member of the Newlyn Society of Artists.
'Queer Time' Poetry Workshop
A poetry workshop facilitated by award-winning poet Elizabeth Gibson! This cosy Sunday morning workshop provided a space to explore queer ideas of societal expectations, milestones and freedom through poetry in a friendly workshop setting. During the workshop attendees read poems aloud, had time to quietly reflect and write, and had the option to share what they had written. Elizabeth's poetry appears in the latest issue of The Greenhouse.
Elizabeth Gibson is a Manchester-based writer who has been the recipient of a New North Poets Prize at the Northern Writers Awards, and a DYCP grant from Arts Council England. Her work has appeared in Antiphon, Atrium, Cake, Confingo, Lighthouse, Magma, Popshot, Strix, and Under the Radar. She has been commissioned as a writer-performer by Manchester Literature Festival, Manchester Pride, The Portico Library, Islington Mill, Oldham Coliseum, and Yorkshire Dance.
A huge thank you to Tom for putting together such an exciting programme of events, to Erika, Mike, and Elizabeth for sharing their creative practises with us, and to everyone who came along! The Greenhouse Issue #4 features Erika Groeneveld, Mike Thorpe, Nick Asbury, Sue Asbury, Michelle Freeman, Elizabeth Gibson, Sabine Grimshaw, Charles Heathcote, Alan Horne, Lisa Matthews, Ben Mayman, Rose Proudfoot, Mia Scattergood, Adrian Slatcher, and Joy Winkler is now available in-store and online.
Tom England is the editor and publisher for Night Owl Books, an independent publisher of poetry, fiction, art and review, based in Macclesfield in the North West of England. Launched in 2022, its flagship magazine The Greenhouse has featured writers and artists including Hilary Jack, Mike Thorpe, Lisa Matthews, Sarah Taylor-Fergusson, Rachel Ho, Sue Asbury, and more. The Greenhouse showcases the work of writers and artists in Macclesfield and the North West of England, publishing poetry, fiction, art and review in two beautifully produced, full-colour volumes each year.