Tucked away up a backstreet and off the high street in Levenshulme is an unassuming old building. Bankley Mill. It’s a bit rough around the edges on the outside, keeping itself to itself for the most part.
Inside the mill however, there are working artists grafting and creating in the space. They have been there for a very long time. Producing art and ideas that influence far beyond the walls of the red brick on Bankley Street in Levenshulme.
It’s a very cool space and it’s exciting to to share a neighbourhood with talent beavering away behind the scenes as they do. We’re really chuffed to use the Artvert billboard to tell more people about the free exhibition and promote this hidden gem to passers by on the A6 who may not have been yet or even known about it!
This year, they are opening up the artists studios for one night only to let people get a glimpse of the life of a working artist.
Continuing over the next two weeks, the Open 2021 exhibition will run until the 10th of October and showcase the 20 artists selected to exhibit from their recent Open Call.
Will Marshall from Bankley Studios: A Few Questions…
How long has Bankley been going now and what are the plans for its future?
“Bankley Studios has existed since 1992 (30 next year!) but I’m not sure exactly when the gallery was added.
Looking forward the gallery team are looking to really develop our programme into something more coherent, rather than occasionally having shows on without a vision or through line.
We are really interested in looking at Bankley’s relationship with Levenshulme, somewhere it has existed for a long time, but in a way it has remained quite anonymous. So we’re doing things like rethinking how accessible our shows are, turning part of the gallery space into a social space in order to deformalise it, putting on free public workshops, having film screenings, and more. It’s early days in this rethink but we have big plans to turn Bankley Gallery into an important part of the fabric of Levenshulme.”
What should people expect from this year’s Open Call Exhibition?
“A proper mix of different types of art. There’s most definitely something for everyone. From more traditional painting to whacky installations.Beautiful sculptures to atmospheric photographs.
Exhibitions from open calls offer a chance to encounter work from artists that you might not normally encounter, and this show has definitely brought some amazing pieces into Levenshulme.
What would you say to someone who has never been to Bankley before but would like to come and have a look around?
“We hope you do come!
It may not look like your traditional art space, tucked away in the old mill building behind Stockport road, but once you’re inside there are a whole load of interesting things going on. Our artists studios are all individual rooms, which most of the year only they will see. However, this weekend we will be opening our doors and giving you the chance to see the spaces here artists make work. A lot of the artists will also be there, so you can have a chat and learn more about their work. Or you can just pop in and have a nosey.”
Finally, A Note On Bankley’s Covid Safety Measures
In terms of covid safety, each of the individual studios has a different setup. Some have fire escape doors that open outside, others have windows that will be open. But some have limited ventilation.
We do ask that if you are walking around the studios that you wear a mask if you can, to help keep everyone safe and help us to be able to open our doors.
Thanks Will and everyone involved, we can’t wait to see the exhibition.
Bankley Open 2021 + Open Studios
Bankley Open 2021 presents works from 20 artists selected from our annual open call.
“…the judges were drawn to works that stirred a sense of intrigue, often dream-like narratives, that spoke of human, personal stories…”
+ On the opening weekend, all three floors of our artist studios will be open to the public, a chance for you to see what goes on behind closed doors and enter the weird and wonderful worlds of our artists.
Opening Night + Award Ceremony + Bankley Open Studios
6-9pm Friday 25th September
12-4pm Saturdays + Sundays until 10th October
Bankley Open Studios
6-9pm Friday 24th September
12-4pm Saturday 25th September
Bankley Open 2021 artists:
Shona Davies, David Monaghan & Jon Klein
Hannah Louise Foster
Chloë Louise Lawrence
Artists Selected by judges Tamar Hemmes: Assistant Curator at Tate Liverpool, Simon Buckley: Artist, and Audrey Albert: Artist and Creative Facilitator
To arrange a viewing at another time, please get in contact via email email@example.com or on social media
Bankley Gallery is situated on the first floor of an old mill building, which unfortunately is currently only accessible by stairs. The studios are located on the first, second and third floors and are also only accessible by stairs.
The building is located just off the main road, with regular bus services from Manchester and Stockport, and is around 450m from Levenshulme train station. The station has no lift and both platforms are only accessible by stairs.