Thursday, 7 July 2016

Save our Library!

Save Our Library! Shout the children of Brierfield

On Thursday the 23rd of June 2016 Brierfield library was full of excitement and anticipation as the children from Pendle Primary Academy flooded into the library, accompanied by their parents and teachers, all thinking the same collective thought: Save Our Library!

On Friday the 6th of May Brierfield received the devastating news that their beloved library was being threatened with possible closure by their own council. The children, parents and staff of Pendle Primary Academy were not taking this news lying down and soon teamed up with In-Situ who had organised a public meeting to discuss what concerned members of the community could do to save the library and protest about its proposed closure. Pendle Primary Academy decided to stage a protest – a sit in in the library - and they did just that! At 11 o’clock precisely the library opened its doors to the school and its many costumed children, ranging from princesses to pirates (even Darth Vader showed his support!). They quickly settled at their home away from home and started creating posters, reading their favourite books and even some form filling for the adults which might have seemed a lot less exciting but certainly helps the cause. So many children showed up to support their library the many tables the library provides were soon too full for all the children! The adults therefore needed to watch their step to make sure they didn’t step on a child who was busy reading! Eventually, armed with posters and determined faces, the children lined up outside the library to take photos and show not only passers-by but also the council themselves that they will not let their library be taken without a fight!

Brierfield’s new local radio man, In-Situ artist in residence Helmut Lemke, was also there, representing In-Situ in their support of the protest. Helmut interviewed and recorded the youngsters, their parents and even the formers mayor’s opinions on the idea of closure, all of which were heartbroken at the idea of it.
The parents clearly expressed their emotions with many telling the radio of all the brilliant events the library holds, their children’s excitement at the idea of going to the library and their anger at the Government for wanting to rip that away from the children of Brierfield.
The teachers from Pendle Primary Academy praised the library as the only place, aside from the school’s small library, that the children can explore reading and also do their homework projects, especially since many cannot travel to Burnley or Nelson’s library’s. They told Helmut that every single student from the school is a member of the library and they love it dearly because it helps ‘everyone’ from all ages. Why would you want this taken away from your children?
The ex-mayor of Brierfield also came to support the children and said he strongly believes the library can and should remain open and that the cuts are not right and should not be happening, especially not to this important Brierfield resource.
Finally, the children had the last say and expressed their love for the library by telling stories of their own experiences with the library from reading and meeting up with friends and family to just having fun! One girl told the story of her grandmother coming to the library and that, by taking away the library, you are taking away a big chunk of not only her own future but the past of Brierfield as well. Now if that doesn’t sum up the importance of the library, what does?

WANT TO HELP? Visit Our Facebook page: Save Our Brierfield Library!

All photos provided by:
If help is needed to fill out the form, please feel free to visit our Facebook page:

Written by: Megan Chapman   

Monday, 9 May 2016

Burton Gardens 'S'

 Our final forage walk in the 'WEEDS' series!

We've just had our very last 'WEEDS' forage walk!
We can't believe it's been a whole year since our very first forage walk at Burton Gardens - an outdoor kitchen and playspace created with the support of Great Places Housing Group (Blackburn).

For this forage walk we wandered in search of wild garlic, as well as revisiting sorel, dandellions and more; returning to the outdoor kitchen to learn how to make pesto and have a nice cuppa raspberry leaf and dandellion tea.  Having filled bellies with scrumptous food, we set about making room for lots of seeds we'd collected during a previous event.

Following from our forage walks, we'll be continuing to keep the garden active:  carrying on foraging, but also looking into creating new artworks and useful objects / tools, made from things we find in the garden.

When: Thursdays 3-5PM. For more information, please contact :

Thursday, 5 May 2016




Our current and evolving exhibition at Brierfield Library

We'd like to invite you to our exhibition! In-Situ, an arts organisation in Brierfield, has been salvaging interesting objects that we feel still have potential, at Northlight (Smith & Nephew) Mill; creating performances and installations with them at (y)our space at Brierfield Library.

From this has come a constantly evolving exhibition of these objects (including more than 206 glass bricks!), alongside a collection of local and far away photographer's journeys through the mill: from documentary photography of it being stripped down in 2012 - 13 to words captured in light, in rooms stood still in time.

The collection of photographs in this exhibition has been created through working with Diane Muldowney, a local artist who recognised that:
'After seeing all the photos at the mill, taken by so many different people it would be a shame not to let the general public have a chance to see them.'

Salvaged objects began being re-arranged by artists at In-Situ, but has since been re-imagined by Shehroz Ali, a bright young local artist who's been visiting us on his school holidays (his piece is named: The Star of Brierfield Mill), alongside several groups of other young people who've been visiting over the past few weeks, creating walls, monuments, creating a new model for libraries and more...

Also a part of this exhibition are designs made by MSA (Manchester School of Architecture), who have spent an intense and extremely exciting week here in Brierfield, imagining and designing our space at Northlight Mill. These designs are the first exciting steps towards evolving our space at the Mill – visions of its future.

 Exhibition on until Monday 30th May.

So come in to Brierfield Library and have a look for yourself; find out how many bricks there really are; rearrange the installation; venture through time and mill space!

Thank you to all who've been involved so far:
Daniel Scanlin
Mark Salmon
Geoff Ashworth & Peter Seavers
Andrew Marland
Andrew Nicholas
Diane Muldowney
Roy Shoesmith
Shehroz Ali
Noor, Zainab, Aisha, Aira, Saeeda and friends
MSA (Manchester School of Architecture)

Friday, 8 April 2016

Another Great Shapes of Water; Sounds of Hope review - courtesy of Andrew Nicholas

A local ‘bloke’ and Brierfield blogger

...I’ve always lived in Brierfield bar an eighteen month stint in student accommodation over in Halifax... Does Brierfield or ‘the north’ more generally influence who I am? Who knows. Possibly not, possibly more than I’d care to admit. What I can say is that I loved growing up here. No rose tinted-ness, not portraying it as a perfect place but it has been at the centre of everything. My kingdom if you will. Born of cotton. A place without a postcard...

...We are lucky that there now seems to be a real desire to use art as a way of bringing the communities closer together. We may have different beliefs but now maybe there can be commonality through music. The ‘Shapes of Water – Sounds of Hope’ project has been set up as a collaboration between Los Angeles based performance artist Suzanne Lucy, the In-Situ collective who are based at the library and the people of Pendle themselves. The massive derelict Smith & Nephews mill sits on our doorstep. What does it mean to us? A symbol of the past and our heritage? Harsh times; the dawn of industrialisation; nothing? With plans to regenerate maybe it is also a symbol of hope and possible new found prosperity? The idea is simple I guess setting our lives to music in the form of Sufi chant and shape note singing. Capturing who we are; words and phrases.

Our hopes and fears, our opinions. Trying to break down any barriers or prejudices. Anyone who has heard me sing will attest that I can murder Chris De effing Burgh’s ‘The Lady In Red’ in fine style when I’m drunk but that’s my limit.

That doesn’t matter though because it’s just about participating. It’s about enjoying being in each other’s company and sharing stories. By September it is hoped that the mill be reverberate to the sound of a thousand voices perhaps still not completely in tune but with a greater understanding of how cool the future could be if we start pulling in the same direction. Personally, I’ve loved joining in with the Sufi chanting; letting go and being spirited away. An emotional awakening. As someone who stopped going to church many moons ago and has no plans to go back I think it may be the only ‘act of faith’ I experience for some

This is an extract from The Brierfield Bulletin no.19 by Andrew Nicholas
Full blog text here:

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Shapes of Water; Sounds of Hope (event no.2) - A review by Megan Chapman

This event is one of the most heart-warming and thought-provoking events I have ever attended.  It promoted a simple but amazing idea of being able to connect to everyone no matter what walk of life they are from by the art of song.  It gives an insight of what it is like to have spiritual liberty and to accept everyone for who they are and what they believe by simply listening or even joining in their song and seeing life through their thoughts and music. The premise of this is so important in promoting the community and show that art isn’t just handheld but is spiritual, emotional and relevant to everybody. 
The event was held at the Ace Centre in Nelson. This beautiful venue provided the perfect setting of tranquillity and peace with its use of delicate blues and, of course, it scrumptious food! The seating arrangement made everyone feel connected in its circular set up and I even saw many people exchange numbers and stories over the delicious food with people who will hopefully become friends for life. The staff were also just as kind to both other staff and the participants of the event; I have never felt so welcome in a new space and environment than I did here. The speakers, like Suzanne lacy, brought interesting and absorbing speeches on our heritage, diversity and community that had everybody in attendance joining in with all activities and even the speeches themselves! The amount of effort put into this event was unbelievable and definitely paid off in the end with the success and completion of the event's main goal: to connect everybody. 

The two main activities were chanting by Nasheed and also music using shapes by musicologist Ron Penn. The chanting was so relaxing and moving that I found myself being lost in the sweet sounds without feeling any pressure to connect to a deity or religion but to use it for my own purpose while still feeling completely connected to everybody else in the room who were all chanting for their own reasons and purpose. It showed me just how many misconceptions people have of other’s beliefs and religions and how that pushes a huge divide in our community for no reason at all but people's own ignorance and showed the importance of events like this one. The second event brought a change of atmosphere but was just as enjoyable as the jolly Ron Penn took the stage. Ron’s use of shapes and music from his own ancestors over the water in America brought a new lease of life to the party and had everyone up, moving and in stitches. These two contrasting forms of liberty and connection worked fantastically together making this event for everybody no matter what style of music or song they prefer!
I cannot express enough how eye-opening (or ear-opening as the case was) this event was and how highly I recommend you coming to the next one! These events will show you how magical and individual everyone around you are from the main events to the individual performers, who will blow you away with their undeniable talent, while still connecting you to each and every person and rid you of the misconceptions we all, unfortunately, have to each other by connecting you with the most natural thing of all: music.
Megan is currently studying for her A levels and will be joining In-Situ during her summer break to write more reviews of on-going and new projects.
For more information on our Shapes of Water; Sounds of Hope events or to sign up to our newsletter, please contact

Thursday, 10 March 2016


We are looking for expressions of interest for new artist studio spaces that we will be setting up in The Shop, Nelson.

As some of you may or may not know, The Shop will be closing at the end of this month unless we can find a way to continue it sustainably. The Shop has been hugely enjoyed by many local people and its closure would be a massive loss for Nelson. We were extremely impressed to see The Shop most bustling during our artist-in-residence programme last Summer and this has inspired us to develop the space into a permanent studio for up to 10 artists. We hope that this can become a thriving hub of creativity in Pendle- a draw for local people to continue to use, and a productive environment bringing together a fantastic group of local creatives. There will be a range of studios available- from more to less private, from bigger to smaller, and at a range of affordable prices.

If you think you might be interested in a studio space in The Shop, or would like more information, please email with any questions. We will be at The Shop from 10AM - 2PM this Saturday 12th March for you to pop in to take a look, ask any questions, and put your name down. And please feel free to forward this email to anyone else that you think may be interested.

As well as this, we are also looking for volunteers to help run the space. If you think that you may be able to offer a few hours of your time to get this project going- or you know of anyone else that may- then please do get in touch! 

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Thursday, 25 February 2016

In-Situ Social Practitioner (6 Months Paid Internship)

We are looking for a creative, energetic person to join our arts team. This is the best paid internship out there today: an amazing opportunity for the right candidate to spend 6 months developing their community practice, project management and marketing skills within an art focused environment. You will be given support to develop and manage arts programs which link to the people, place and environment of the local Pendle area.

*At the time of applying you must be aged 18 – 24 years old and you must be registered as unemployed with Jobcentre plus.

Please submit a letter of application no more than 2 sides of A4 (point 11) covering the following:
  •       Why you would like this opportunity?
  •        What you would hope to achieve?

A current CV
Deadline Monday 21st March 2016 12 PM
Interviews will be held on Thursday 24th March

For a copy of the JD and more information on the role email Paul Hartley on or call 07967671156

To apply for this paid internship contact Rachel Holden at 01772 537 546 or email