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Ribble Valley Borough Council

Platform Gallery 2012 Exhibitions

Lancashire Witches 400th Anniversary Exhibition

Sue Flowers

28th July - 6th October 2012

In partnership with Green Close and a part of The Lancashire Witches 400 project, this exhibition features the work of artists, local schools and groups who have explored the Witches' story through the heritage of Lancashire, the historical context of religious and social persecution and its relevance to intolerance and injustice today. 

Each artist will exhibit new work inspired by the stories of the Witches alongside their collaborative projects:

Peter Flowers - For this exhibition he has produced a series of photographic prints based on a belief that complex patterns were able to confuse witches and stop them from entering your home. His work with Quernmore Primary School has looked in particular at signs, symbols and superstitions in relationship to both the story and our modern day lives, resulting in a series of prints produced by pupils.

Sue Flowers' work for this project is inspired by the style of early 17th Century woodblock prints. The drawings help us to connect our understanding of a range of issues this history brings to the surface, from nature, folklore and place to superstition, prejudice and human rights abuses.  Sue Flowers worked with Padiham Green Primary School, the children considering how much of our understanding and relationship with plants and the history of 'witches' has changed over the last 400 years.

Hilli McManus' has produced ceramic and mixed media work based around the idea of  the crow as a cursed bird in our cultural psyche, with a mix of influences from the 'witch smeller' of the Bantu Tribe, the 17th Century 'Plague Doctor' to the Children Catcher of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The inspiration for her Community Quilt Project came from the bold and direct woodcut methods used in 17C printing and an image of an antique Nigerian Textile printed in black and white. This has resulted in a large scale artwork addressing the superstitions and practices of 1612 and bringing them into 2012. 

Julie Miles has produced a cape of hundreds of ceramics feathers, exploring the enigmatic character of Alice Nutter, one of accused 'witches'.  Was she the ring leader or the one drawn in to protect her family? No one will ever know.  Julie has also led a series of community based workshops to produce a series of ceramic brick waymarkers that will mark the route of the new 'Lancashire Witches Way' from Pendle to Lancaster. 

Kate Eggleston-Wirtz has created mixed media works using symbolism relating to the Lancashire Witches' story that aims to spark discussion about various issues: stereotypes, illiteracy, scapegoating and persecution of those that are different and perhaps less fortunate. The examples of artwork presented by Brennand's Endowed Primary School children focus on history through public and personal object collections, whilst considering issues of literacy through the Lancashire Witches' story.

Throughout the exhibition the Platform Gallery and Visitor Information Centre will provide information and publications for sale relating to the Lancashire Witches.  There will also be activities and workshops for families and children on offer in the gallery as well as a programme of walks to exploring Lancashire Witch country.

Please contact us for more information:

Platform Gallery and Visitor Information Centre
Station Road

Tel: 01200 425566

Email: platform.gallery@ribblevalley.gov.uk

Monday - Friday 9.00am - 5.00pm
Saturday 10.00am - 4.30pm
Sundays August 5,12,19,26 and Sept 2, 11.00am - 4.00pm