Stefanie Elrick to perform at ‘Making The Strange Familiar’ by Instigate Arts to launch the Wonder Women Festival 2017 on March 2nd at Manchester Art Gallery

Instigate Arts

16996709_1648001978836770_427943735_nMaking The Strange Familiar, curated by Instigate Arts as part of the Wonder Women festival launch at Manchester Art Gallery on Thursday 2nd March will see Stefanie Elrick bring her unique and dramatic performance art to the Thursday audience.

Stefanie Elrick is an artist, dancer and word weaver from Manchester, UK. She has toured the world producing psychedelic stage shows for the likes of Hawkwind, The Levellers and Peaches Christ and performed endurance-testing pieces such as ‘Written in Skin’ and ‘KAIROS’ (www.writteninskin.com & www.kairosophy.com). Her practice is immersed in magic, ritual and embodiment. She writes fantasy horror and has lectured on performance art and feminism in Universities across the UK.

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Launching the 2017 festival, Instigate Arts takes over Manchester Art Gallery for a special one-night-only event called Making The Strange Familiar inspired by the exhibition Strange and Familiar, a portrait of modern Britain as seen through the…

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Wonder Women Festival – Manchester

From the 2nd – 12th of March Manchester’s many theatres, galleries and clubs will be flooded with artists, activists and creators celebrating just what it means to be a woman. Documentary films about Rebel Dykes, all female techno nights and a huge range of performance and art are on the bill. Could you love Manchester any more?!

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This bold inspiring festival (which sounds to me like a direct challenge to own your own wondrousness) is a creative countdown to the 100yr anniversary of women winning the partial  vote in 1918. Manchester has always been full of forward-thinking fire-crackers, none so much as Emily Pankhurst who was of course, born and bred on the mean streets of Mosside.

The festival poses the question, just how far have we actually come in the past 100yrs and it’s an honour to be invited by Instigate Arts to explore the theme not once but twice throughout the festival.

At the festival’s free launch night ‘Making The Strange Familiar with Instigate Arts’ on Thurs 2nd March I will perform The Art of Reflection at Manchester Art Gallery, a piece first created for the Trans-State conference last year. I describe this piece as a dance-based mirror ritual exploring identity and it’s construction and have integrated a lot of my own magical practices into it. I’m also in the middle of writing my next short story, which is about a woman consumed by a hungry mirror, so there’s certainly a theme bubbling away in my work!

I believe the body is the most powerful tool of expression, for a woman to be dancing freely (outside the confines of some shady establishment) would have alone been dangerous in centuries past! The body also provides a perfect canvas for people’s expectations, which I personally delight in subverting. The Art of Reflection plays with ideas of self-invention and transformation and has a soundtrack that slaloms through the Sex Pistols, to Garbage to Bjork (allowing me to shake out all my crazy energy and channel it healthily!) This piece’s pretty risky climax can’t be practiced or rehearsed, so how it ends is just as much of a surprise to me as my audience. Come and see! The event is open to the public and begins at 5:30pm.

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IMAGE BY LAURA WILLIAMS

Then on the 3rd March at the Royal Exchange I will perform a pure movement piece called ’21st Century Witchcraft’ in the Dolly Mixtures showcase at The Royal Exchange theatre. This cabaret style event is a brilliant place to revive a performance I first created for A Queer Review in collaboration with the wonderful Greg Thorpe. The piece responds to a 7min monologue from Anohni (of Anthony and the Johnsons) in which transgressive bodies, witch craft and the feminisation of religious icons are discussed.

Last time I performed this piece I was told by my partner that I looked like a “sexy mental patient” – probably one of the most honest and accurate critiques I’ve ever been given. Other beautiful weirdos like Rosie Garland, Jane Bradey and Trish Dee are also on the bill that night, so there’s certainly no shortage of wild inspiring women! Tickets available here.

 

The Wonder Women festival has been made possible by the People’s History Museum and Creative Tourist. Read the full festival line-up here.

Peaky Blinders meets a Village Fete – An Alternative Wedding of 3-Parts!

July – Sept is PEAK wedding season – so if you’re curious as to what I’ve been doing read more!

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July to August has been craaazy busy for Alternative Weddings Manchester and we faced our biggest challenge yet on Fri 5th August – a wedding of three parts!

To understand this very special day first you need a bit of background info on the happy couple. John and Sophie are the masterminds behind Manchester’s coolest underground art event – Art Battle Manchester, bringing ‘Art for the People, by the People’.  John and Sophie are all about creativity and expression and their lives are full of colourful characters, artists, good eggs and good vibes. This eclectic festival atmosphere was exactly what they wanted to share with their friends and family.

They had it all, literally, squeezing in a Humanist ceremony at Hallé St Peters in the afternoon, a thoroughly rustic feast at Hope Mill Theatre (provided by The Northern Pie Company and Taste the Love) and a Village fête / mini-festival in the evening with games, live art and…

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Clare and Gavin Worrall’s Socialist Shebang

When nearly every wedding shot looks like it could be an album cover, you know you’re doing a good job of creating Alternative Weddings.

Alternative Weddings MCR

We all know the best things in life are worth waiting for – good food, fine wine, the loves of our lives and of course wedding pictures!

Huge thank you to Embee Photography who documented Clare and Gavin Worrall’s wedding and got some really brilliant snaps of the Bride and Groom strutting their stuff around Ancoats. We love it when wedding pictures look more like album covers and luckily our city is full of cool urban spots to make that happen!

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Clare and Gavin’s wedding was planned by Alternative Weddings Manchester and held in July 2016 across two locations. They chose to hold their civil ceremony at the People’s History Museum and their meal and reception at Hope Mill Theatre in Ancoats, with catering by Samuel Tompkins and homemade gingerbread rum favors made by the Bride and Groom themselves.

Clare and Gavin were the loveliest couple who above all, wanted to have a laugh during their big day…

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Stef Elrick – ‘Ambition’ – Artist Q&A

Instigate Arts

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On Saturday 9th July 2016, 6-9pm, Instigate Arts takes over the main gallery space at HOME in Manchester to host our ‘Ambition’ pop-up exhibition. In this series of Q&A’s we get a little more insight into what makes some some of the participating artists tick. Here we speak with artist, dancer and writer Stef Elrick:

Can you tell us about your practice?
I’m a dancer and performance artist who also dabbles in theatre and fiction writing. I love all forms of expression (although I’m terrible at fine art!!) I love embodying concepts in my work, creating visercal experiences that aim to push myself, and my audience, into new patterns of thinking. If I’m learning something new about myself I’m almost certain the audience will be learning something too.

How does your work relate to the themes of Ambition?
compenSATE looks at the way we consciously and subconsciously compete with each through the…

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