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Open House Events

Open House is a project that connects life lived in front of the wallpaper the 10,000 wall coverings looked after at the Whitworth.

Open House Events

Open House is a project that connects life lived in front of the wallpaper with the 10,000 wall coverings looked after at the Whitworth. Across 2022, we are holding a series of events to help launch the project, hear your stories, gather photographs, and help strengthen these connections.

Find out more about the Open House exhibition here

There are events planned and running until February 2023 – take a look at the calendar below... 


Past event | Welcome tea party‚Ä®
Saturday 9 April 2022, 12-4pm

Open House is a project that connects life lived in front of the wallpaper with the 10,000 wall coverings looked after at the Whitworth. Across 2022, we gather your photographs and stories. A volunteer team will photograph the wallpaper collection at the Whitworth and link these patterns to the memories of our daily lives. The Open House exhibition and microsite will grow with your photographs, stories, objects and more. Find out more at our special launch event: Curator Tours – Collection Show and Tell – Tea and Cake. Bring your photos and memories to share in our first family album drop-in.

Family album drop-ins
Monthly, Fridays, 2-4pm, free, no need to book
13 May, 10 June, 8 July, 12 August, 9 September, 14 October

We are creating an archive of memories about wallpaper. Explore objects from the Whitworth’s 10,000 strong collection of wallpapers and share your photographs and stories. Selected contributions will go on display in the exhibition and into the Open House ‘family album’ book and online microsite.

Our next date drop-in date is Friday 9 September.

Past event | Drop-in, Friday 10 June, 1-1.45pm, free, no need to book
If you can't attend in person, follow us @queeringthewhitworth to watch this event on Instagram Live!
Queering the Whitworth in collaboration with Open House presents:
Dr Monica Pearl on Douglas Crimp, AIDS activism and queer domesticity

Open House is a project that connects lives lived in front of the wallpaper with the 10,000 wall coverings looked after at the Whitworth.
Queering the Whitworth has staged an intervention within the Open House exhibition, presenting General Idea’s AIDS wallpaper (1989), part of the Whitworth’s wallpaper collection, with texts by the art historian and AIDS activist Douglas Crimp, who commented on HIV/AIDS and visual culture.
At this event, Dr Monica Pearl, Lecturer in 20th Century American Literature at the University of Manchester and member of the AIDS activist group ACT UP will read extracts from Crimp’s writing. Pearl herself has written extensively on the topic of HIV/AIDS with notable essays including Gazing at AIDS and The Problem of Beauty in the Art of AIDS.

Reading Group
Every other month, now on Thursdays from 6-6.45pm, free

Dates
Fridays: 27 May, 29 July
& Thursdays: 29 September, 1 December 2022
Booking details for the next reading groups are listed below

Get stuck into stories spanning 50 years of home life with our friendly reading group. Sam Selvon, The Housing Lark (1965); Zadie Smith, White Teeth (2000); Hanif Kureishi, The Buddha of Suburbia (1990); Jeanette Winterson, Oranges are Not the Only Fruit (1985).

The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi
Thursday 29 September 2022, 6-6.45pm
FREE, please book your place on Eventbrite


Oranges are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
Thursday 1 December 2022, 6-6.45pm
FREE, please book your place on Eventbrite


Past event | Open House Book Club 
#2
White Teeth by Zadie Smith

Friday 29 July 2022, 1-1.45pm
Come to chat about White Teeth, by Zadie Smith, over tea and cake at The Whitworth!
Our Open House Book Club is exploring novels that portray home life in the UK in the latter half of the 20th century. For July, we are reading White Teeth, by Zadie Smith.

Past event | Open House reading group #1
Sam Selvon, The Housing Lark (1965)
Friday, 27 May 2022, 1-1.45pm 
Join our friendly book group to chat about The Housing Lark (1965) by Sam Selvon. The Open House reading group explores novels about home life in the UK from the 1950s to today. Come and join our informal friendly chat to discuss the books! May's book The Housing Lark is by Trinidad-born author Sam Selvon who moved to London in the 1950s


Where is Home?
A pop-up exhibition, August 2022 – February 2023

Where is Home? x Open House
Film screening and performances, Thursday 22 September, 6-9pm
FREE, please book your place on Eventbrite

Over the summer the Whitworth hosts Where is Home? a national exhibition that tells the global story of Indian migration to the UK, marking the 75th anniversary of Partition and Independence and the 50th anniversary of Asian Ugandan migration in 2022.

Where is Home? appears at the Whitworth as a pop-up display inside our exhibition Open House. We present a film, objects, and archive materials, portraying stories about migration to the UK and making a home in a new place, and artistic practices that reflect on this unique experience.

Join us to explore the themes of Where is Home? with a film screening, poetry reading, and artist panel discussion. Find out more about Inspirate, here.


Open House symposium
Friday 18 November, 10-4pm, free
Booking details will be posted here closer to the date

Reflections on wallpaper and home life from artists, researchers, and project participants. Including screenings, performances, and Open House’s Family Album book launch.


Closing celebration
In February 2023
The date and booking details will be posted here closer to the time

Join us to mark the end of the project. With food, music, and more.


Volunteering opportunities

We will be recruiting volunteers to help photograph and document our collection of 10,000 wallpapers.
Click here to contact Fiona Cariss, our volunteer manager, and register your interest.

 

#whitworthopenhouse

The Open House collection research project has been developed with the generous support of Arts Council England’s Designation Development Fund.

The exhibition has been made possible through Art Fund Respond and Reimagine.

Image: Vinyl-coated washable wallpaper, 1966, designed by Evelyn Erlbeck for Howarths Limited, Manchester. Courtesy the Whitworth, The University of Manchester