Preston exhibition celebrates new work from over 20 contemporary artists, including a Turner Prize winner

Posted on - 28th August, 2021 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Preston City Centre, Things to Do in and around Preston, What's On in Preston
The Birley entrance Pic: The Birley

The Birley artist studios and project spaces relaunches in Preston city centre this month with an exhibition featuring the work of over 20 of their resident artists.


After a difficult year of isolation and postponed activities, the studio members of The Birley are excited to present new work to the public, which reflects the development and growth of their individual art practices. The What We Do exhibition is the first major display of studio members’ work since the organisation significantly expanded in 2019, more than tripling in size and studio membership.

The show features work by studio members Anthony Padgett, Beata Podstawa, Bernie Velvick, Beth Wise, Ella-Marie Thornhill, Faye Spencer, Florian Houlker, Gavin Renshaw, Heather Mullender-Ross, Julie Mayer, Kathryn Poole, Lauren Velvick, Lauretta Rapley, Magda Starwarska-Beavan, Norman Payne, Rebecca Chesney, Rob Mullender-Ross, Roberta Cialfi, Simon Plum, Stephanie Fletcher, Tao Lashley-Burnley and Tracy Hill. 

The exhibition also includes new work from 2017 Turner Prize-winning artist and Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire, Lubaina Himid CBE, who joined the studios in 2019.

Artwork by Florian Houlker, Rob Mullender-Ross, Magda Stawarska-Beavan, Stephanie Fletcher and Tracy Hill Pic: The Birley

“We are excited to welcome visitors back to our public spaces 18 months on from our last in-person event. We’ve been busy behind the scenes, renovating two gallery spaces and setting up a new multi-purpose reading room – alongside moving workshop activities online. This exhibition showcases the breadth of creative practice from over 20 of our studio members,” said Stephanie Fletcher and Ben Rutherford, Directors of The Birley.

The exhibition has already proved popular, with launch day tickets sold out before the exhibition commenced. The exhibition runs every Friday and Saturday from 12pm to 4pm from Friday 27 August to Saturday 18 September and will initially be open by booking ahead, with free tickets available on Eventbrite. Visitor numbers will be limited, hand sanitiser is available, and the studio asks visitors to wear face coverings unless exempt.

For further information go to The Birley’s website.

To book free tickets follow this link to Eventbrite.

The Birley is located in Preston city centre, near the corner of Birley Street and Earl Street. The main entrance faces the smaller outdoor covered market.

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Will you be going to the exhibition? Let us know in the comments.

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