The Turnpike CIC was a bold, independent not-for-profit arts project with community at its heart, based in Leigh, Greater Manchester.

This web archive, titled Could this be paradise? reflects on our 5 years in Leigh, highlighting the community voices and artists who have worked with us to shape our organisation.

We want to say a huge thank you to our Turnpike family; the team members, volunteers, artists, community members, peer organisations, funders and supporters who have invested their energy, creativity and ingenuity with us over the years.

Major Conversations
4 October - 9 November 2019
Theodore Major in Dialogue with Contemporary British Artists

As heavy industry has declined in the North, our understanding of areas with a strong industrial heritage and identity are often distorted through a fog of political discourse and ideology. How can the arts contribute to the debate?

In Major Conversations, artists from across the North of England burrowed beneath the surface to uncover a social reality and lived experience, creating art that is not just heard but felt - art that both reflects and challenges.

The exhibition featured contemporary artists alongside the extraordinary work of Theodore Major; a painter who reflected the social & visual impact of heavy industry in Wigan. By juxtaposing Major’s beautiful but dystopian industrial landscapes alongside contemporary works of art, a reciprocal narrative of resilience and resistance emerged.

Exhibiting artists were: Bobby Benjamin, Emma Bennett, Tony Charles, Gordon Dalton, Nicola Ellis, Mary Griffiths, Faye Hadfield, Hannah Leighton-Boyce, Theodore Major, Katie McGuire, Annie O’Donnell, Craig Oldham, Helen Pailing, Aaron Pearce, Connor Shields, Jo Stanness and Kraig Wilson.

The exhibition was the second stage of a touring project that began at Platform A, Middlesbrough and was curated with Mark Parham.

All images © The Turnpike CIC. Photos by Livia Lazar.