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.

No Man's Land: Women's Photography and the First World War
10 November 2018 - 12 January 2019

No Man’s Land offered rarely-seen female perspectives on the First World War, featuring images taken by women who worked as nurses, ambulance drivers, and official photographers, as well as contemporary artists directly inspired by the conflict. Commemorating the First World War Centenary, No Man’s Land featured photographs by three women of the epoch, alongside three women making work a century later.

Highlights included frontline images by nurses Mairi Chisholm and Florence Farmborough, some of which had never been exhibited or published; photographs by Olive Edis, the UK’s first female official war photographer despatched to a war zone; and new work by contemporary photographer and former soldier Alison Baskerville. No Man’s Land also presented works from Chloe Dewe Matthews’ series Shot At Dawn, which focuses on the sites at which British, French and Belgian troops were executed for cowardice and desertion between 1914 and 1918.

No Man’s Land was curated by Dr. Pippa Oldfield and was a co-production by Impressions Gallery, Bradford;The Turnpike CIC, Leigh; Bristol Cathedral; and Bishop Auckland Town Hall, County Durham.

The exhibition was supported by Arts Council England Strategic Touring; Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art; The Peter E. Palmquist Fund for Historical Photographic Research. Historical images are kindly provided by National Library of Scotland; Imperial War Museums; Cromer Museum (Norfolk Museums Service). Soldier by Alison Baskerville was commissioned by Impressions Gallery. Shot at Dawn by Chloe Dewe Mathews was commissioned by the Ruskin School of Art at the University of Oxford as part of 14–18 NOW, WW1 Centenary Art Commissions. No Man’s Land was a member of the First World War Centenary Partnership led by IWM (Imperial War Museums).

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