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  • Michelle

Bookshops for all residency

Some exciting news! I'm so pleased to share that I've been awarded an artist residency with George Street Community Bookshop in my old haunt, Glossop. (A residency in a bookshop is a bit 'dream come true' territory for this book nerd.)

Starting on 24th September, I'll be spending time in the bookshop and local area until late October. During which I'll be immersing myself in the stranger side of Glossopdale in the hope of creating new works (written and print) inspired by unusual local stories.

At its heart, this is a participatory residency where I hope the local people will join me in a process of story hunting, storytelling and collective mythmaking. Which brings me to my first happening...

Bookshops for all – In search of the strange (drop in)

When? Saturday 24th Sept

What time? Drop in anytime between 10am–12pm or 2-4pm

Where? Upstairs at George Street Community Bookshop, 14-16 George Street, Glossop, SK13 8AY

What's it all about? I'm on the hunt for the magical, mythical or downright strange stories of Glossopdale – and I want to hear from you! Drop by the bookshop to share your local stories: from ancient myth to contemporary folklore; unexplained objects to haunted hotspots; or perhaps a bit of local history... Whatever it is, drop by the bookshop, pull up a pew and share your story with me. While you’re here, you can also try your hand at the magical art of map dowsing. Perhaps you'll 'divine' a strange site for us to explore in the local landscape.

(I'd also like to audio record a few ‘oral histories’ to form part of an archive for the project. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be recorded if you don’t want to – but I may ask 😀)

What if you can't make it?

If you can't make it but still want to share a story, you can fill in this short 'story collection' survey here.

I can't wait to hear your story!

A bit more about my residency

As a past resident of Glossop, I became fascinated by the local lore: strange lights skipping across the Longdendale Valley; Devil’s bonfires igniting the landscape; whispers of hauntings and ghostly sightings. Many of these local legends have been documented in folklore, but how is it they came to be? And what if we took inspiration from these tales and the richness of the landscape to dream up new myths, together?

Through my residency, I'm hoping to explore the strange, peculiar and uncanny side of Glossopdale’s rich and curious history. From Celtic stone heads and centuries-old customs, to contemporary folklore. I’ll delve into the local landscape through books, conversations and creative exploration, and use this research as inspiration to create new written works and illustrations. During this journey, I'd like to invite local residents and latent storytellers to join me in this process of exploration, discovery and creation. Drop by the bookshop to chat to me and share your strange stories or local knowledge, help map hotspots or hauntings to be explored, or pop in to make some myths of your own!

I'll be releasing more event dates soon, but here's an idea of what to expect over the next few weeks...

Part one: In search of the strange – where I'll be chatting with the locals and exploring the landscape to collect, unearth and document the unusual side of Glossopdale. From ancient myth, to contemporary folklore, to supernatural sightings! (Drop in to the bookshop, or join me on a "weird walk" of the local area.)

Part two: Collective mythmaking – where we'll be using local stories, creative documentation and books from the shop as inspiration for new creative writing and printmaking. (Writing and printmaking workshops to be announced.)

Part three: Compendium of tales – archiving and sharing stories either through print, digital archive or live event. (Watch this space as things unfold!)

I'm one of three selected artists as part of the 'Bookshops For All' artist commissions 2022 Along with Morag Rose and Lois Blackburn, with thanks to George Street Community Bookshop.

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