£0 – £10

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time



AirSpace Gallery

4 Broad Street



United Kingdom

View Map

Refund Policy

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

Event description
Bringing together artists for a mixture of workshops, talks and get-togethers.

About this Event

Assembly Stoke-on-Trent

Saturday 23 November 2019

Assembly Stoke-on-Trent focuses on activism in the arts and the artist as activist, activator and change maker. Taking place across several venues around the city, this day-long event aims to discuss and make more visible the work that artists do within this context, whilst also exploring the sometimes hidden labour associated with the making of things and with making things happen. Assembly Stoke-on-Trent will create space to talk about how we balance our lives with the work that we do.

Led by Anna Francis and Rebecca Davies from The Portland Inn Project, a series of provocations, discussions, hands on actions and social activity will raise questions and create space to explore answers together around a set of themes which include some of the most urgent issues of our time for artists and humans.

Themes and concerns include:

Environment and Sustainable Practice: What if we only work where we live?

Housing and Property: What are the best ways to tool up, educate ourselves and work together to protect what is ours. Exploring methods to create people-led, collaborative visions for the future of public ‘property’.

Living as Practice: The role of the artist in society. The responsible artist has the weight of the world on their shoulders, but this can be exhausting – how do we balance that?

Disobedience: ‘Shaking the table’ and creating space to discuss issues of equality and diversity activism in the arts.

Start at: AirSpace Gallery, 4 Broad St, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 4HL

10.30 – 11.00 am

Morning refreshments and sign up for afternoon workshops.

Welcome and introduction to the day

11.00 – 11.30 am

a-n Programmes and Partnerships Manager Wing-Sie Chan introduces a-n, highlighting the Paying Artists Campaign and a-n’s 40th Anniversary in 2020. This will be followed by an overview of the day’s activities from Rebecca Davies and Anna Francis of The Portland Inn Project and AirSpace Gallery.

Setting the Scene

11.30 am – 12.45 pm

Glen Stoker from AirSpace Gallery will set out the context for artist-led organisations in the West Midlands, with a frank discussion around their history and the current situation for the arts.

Jessica Longmore will talk about what it means to be the interloper, and why we all have a responsibility across the arts and arts education to make equality and diversity part of the conversation.

Restoke will present its collaborative practice, creating space to talk about mental health.

Hearing from Anna Francis and Rebecca Davies from The Portland Inn Project who will create a space to talk about the ‘shit’ and the ‘barriers’.

Gemma Holyoak will talk through issues relating to property, particularly in relation to artists.


12.45 – 1.45 pm

Time for break and some delicious lunch courtesy of The Artist Soup Kitchen, and cakes provided by Portland Inn Project member Tina Kayela.

Vegan and gluten free options will be available.

Afternoon Workshops

2.00 – 3.15 pm First workshop session

3.30 – 4.45 pm Second workshop session

Guests are invited to participate in two workshop sessions in the afternoon. Each of the four workshops (A, B, C, D) are repeated for each session. Limited capacity. Sign up in the morning or during lunch on a first come first served basis.

Workshop A: Lydia Catterall - Environment and Sustainable Practice

Venue: The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Bethesda St, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 3DW

We’re richer than we think. Amidst a culture that values the loudest, richest voices, what does it look like to invest more deeply in what you’ve got? This discussion-based workshop will explore sustainability from a personal perspective, and will unpack the idea that using what you’ve got doesn’t necessarily keep you where you are.

Workshop B: Clare Reynolds (Restoke) - Living as Practice

Venue: AirSpace Gallery, 4 Broad St, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 4HL

Clare’s workshop will focus on her understanding of nurturing as part of the creative process and how we look after each other and ourselves in co-created work and social arts projects. The workshop will be part-practical, involving collective movement as well as discussion.

Workshop C: Gemma Holyoak and Michael Kennedy - Housing and Property

Venue: The Portland Inn Project, Century St, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 5JA

A gameplay workshop in which players test how various inputs affect how homes look, feel and perform. Increasingly, people are disenfranchised with the way our cities are being made and don’t see their communities represented. Visualising Viability demystifies property development and shows how design, land, politics and finance are all intrinsically linked. Visualising Viability is funded by the UAL MEAD Fellowship.

Workshop D: Jessica Longmore and Sarah Taylor Silverwood – Disobedience

Venue: AirSpace Gallery, 4 Broad St, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 4HL

A collaborative zine-making workshop which interrogates the idea of ‘the table’. What do you want to bring to the table? What’s already on the table? Can you reach the table? How do you ‘shake the table’? Through creating, sharing and analysing texts and images, together we will think about annotation as activism, and create a one-off publication that will be printed and shared digitally.

Screenprinting with NTRPRNRS

2.00 - 5.00 pm

An all-afternoon drop-in (for anyone not wanting to do a workshop), a hands-on resource where guests can print an Assembly Stoke Slogan on paper or a t-shirt with the city’s leading independent screenprinters. Please bring your own blank t-shirt for printing on the day.

Provocation and Discussion

5.00 – 7.00 pm

Venue: BottleCraft, 33 Piccadilly, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 1EN

Attendees reconvene and are invited to deliver 2 minute artist's provocations, exploring resilience, resistance and activism, and in response to the days talks and workshops. This, and the other talks and workshops from throughout the day, will form the basis of the culminating discussion.

End: Social at AirSpace

7.00 pm – 9.00 pm

Venue: AirSpace Gallery, 4 Broad St, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 4HL

Rebecca Davies, playing host alongside DJ Calum Murphy, will transform the gallery into a social club. We will celebrate the humble working men’s club and local pub as historically being spaces of escape from tough working conditions and vital places for communities to get together and self-organise. Combining dance, music and visuals the night promises to be a proper knees-up filled with camaraderie and belly laughs.


Lunch and refreshments are provided as part of the day. This is a full day event. Booking is required. Tickets are free for a-n members and £10 for non-members

For more info visit: a-n.co.uk/assembly/assembly-stoke-on-trent



Share with friends

Date and Time


AirSpace Gallery

4 Broad Street



United Kingdom

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

Save This Event

Event Saved