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.

Simeon Barclay: bus2move
14 February - 18 April 2020

In his first institutional solo exhibition in the North West, Simeon Barclay presented a new body of work informed by research into dance. From the visual spectacle of contemporary dance theatre to the communal experience of the night club dance floor, the exhibition Bus2move combined costume, film and video, photography, lighting and sound.

Barclay undertook a research residency at the internationally renowned Phoenix Dance Theatre based in Leeds to inform the creation of new artwork for the exhibition. Focusing on choreography, sound design, costume, lighting and stage design, this research informed a series of new installations which continue Barclay's ongoing interest with the complexity of subjectivity and how these states of consciousness are refracted through race, class and received notions of identity.

Barclay's interest in dance, and it's many facets, centres on the construction of masculinity with a particular focus on the way popular perceptions and stereotypes become defined and encoded upon the male body. Bus2Move was one of The Turnpike's most ambitious exhibitions to date and linked specifically with the region's dance heritage, as well as with the cultural positioning of small towns like Leigh in proximity to the club and music scenes of large cities like Liverpool and Manchester.

Bus2Move proved particularly popular with our younger audience and a programme of engagement activities that spanned all age ranges centred on the exhibition's themes of dance, music and the digital. The exhibition inspired a new piece of choreography, created with young dancers from WigLe dance, working in partnership with Phoenix Dance Theatre which was performed as part of the 2020 Wigan Borough Dance Festival.

Unfortunately, due to Covid restrictions and enforced gallery closures in March, the exhibition had to close several weeks early.

Bus2Move was presented in partnership with The Tetley, Leeds and Workplace Foundation, Gateshead and was supported by Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grants.

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