17 September 2004
Weekender (p.1)

An exhibition of six artists’ work will be on display at Victoria Baths until 19 September.

The artists, who were chosen from 170 applicants, have been working to turn the Grade 21isted building into a work of art called For The Time Being: A Promise Of Progress.

London based artist, Tod Hanson spent 10 weeks painting a huge work of art which has been fitted inside the bath’s empty main pool. The intricate work, based on Victorian romantic decoration, was done freehand using house paint.

Another artist, Ellie Harrison, designed Bath Time, an interactive web-based artwork which is on display at the baths.

Panamanian born artist Humberto Velez, who has lived in Manchester for 10 years, brought local school children to the baths and produced a garage and hip hop Victoria Baths anthem.

This was performed last month inside the empty main pool and was recorded for the exhibition.

Curator, Alison Kershaw said: “Humberto produced a performance in the baths with kids from Longsight. You can hear the song that the children wrote as part of the display. There are lots of colours and sounds.”

Funding for the exhibition came from the Arts Council England North West and The Neighbourhood Renewal Fund, a government initiative, which gave a small amount of money for the community-based work.

Alison added: “We have had a grant from the arts council this year and we commissioned six artists to create new works of art using the baths as a starting point. We have got very broad styles on display. The artists are so very different.

“On our first day we had 40 or 50 people, which is good for a Wednesday afternoon.

“There are some pieces of work which have very much the ‘wow’ factor.”

The future of the baths is reliant on further funding after it received money from the Heritage Lottery Fund last year.

Renovation work is expected to begin in 2006 by which time it is hoped the money will be raised. The exhibition at Victoria Baths is free.