Art to see and listen to on Northmoor Road, Longsight
If you’ve visited Northmoor Road in Longsight you can’t have missed the Northmoor Community Association in the beautiful old Beswick Co-operative Association building, which dominates this otherwise unremarkable south Manchester street. Now you can see art in the building, too, in the new Longsight Art Space, which opened in April. The first exhibition is by the Manchester-based artist Venessa (Vee) Scott. You might have seen her huge, bright paintings on the side of a modern office building on Chester Road in Old Trafford (near the football stadium), on the Rochdale Canal towpath near Oxford Street in the city centre, or on shutters in Withington.
Vee’s work in the Longsight exhibition is more intimate in scale. Like a lot of artists, she had to adapt her ways of working during lockdown; the exhibition focuses on portraiture and experiments with using layers in different media.
If you have access to a smart phone or another device and data, you can also follow a new walking and storytelling trail (which launched earlier this year) to get to know the area around Northmoor Road better. Starting outside the Northmoor Community Hub, The People Of is a mobile app created by Manchester-based theatre company Quarantine working with the community. Taking the form of a map and audio files, the app takes users on a walk around the streets of Longsight, stopping at green spaces such as Crowcroft Park and Nutsford Vale as well as ordinary residential streets. The listener is accompanied by stories told by local residents, from a musician and tour guide to shopkeepers, narrated in English and Urdu, with translations available on the website. The stories give an intimate insight into local people’s experiences of living and working in the Northmoor area - as well as their experiences of migration, home and belonging. Others share their experiences of education and the importance of music and culture to their lives.
The People Of invites us to stop, listen and pay attention to places we might usually just pass through for a particular purpose. It connects us to other people in the neighbourhood and helps us to get to know the area and its people better. While some streets on the route are familiar, it’s an opportunity to walk down a different street or see a place in a different light. You might even hear from some people you know or recognise! Saturated by Venessa Scott was at Longsight Art Space, 89 Northmoor Road until 22 May. Access The People Of at https://www.thepeopleof. app/home-old-2/.