Barnsley Libraries is bringing events and activities to grow creativity across its branches

Barnsley Libraries is excited to announce a list of creative commissions to bring more art and culture than ever before across its branches.

Earlier in the summer, local artists and creatives were invited to apply to become one of the creative commissions and bring exciting activities and events to Barnsley Libraries. After receiving a huge response, two Creative Residencies and eight Micro Commissions have been selected by the National Portfolio Organisation Steering Group.

The first commission, a photography exhibition and creative workshop by Sean O’Connell, will take place in early November this year, with the rest of the activities and events running through to April 2024 across the borough.

Creative Residencies:

  • Bee Kind – Visual and performing arts collaborations by Natasha Clarke and Stevie Cairns. An interactive performance for children and families about Billy the Barnsley Bee. Bee Kind will tour their show across the borough in libraries, whilst also offering families a ‘stay and play’ activity.
  • Beka Haytch – Interactive bookends hackspace activity and exhibition. Depicting key Barnsley scenes, these bookends will be on display at Library @ the Lightbox throughout the Barnsley Book Festival next year. There will also be a chance to join a hackspace and help to make them during January 2024.

Micro Commissions:

  • Sean O’Connell – Photography exhibition and creative workshop between 4-8 November 2023 at Library @ the Lightbox.
  • Malcolm Carrot – Granny Norbag Saves the Planet – Puppet show at four Barnsley Libraries branches.
  • Natasha Holmes and Chris McShane – Plastic is everywhere! – Song and performance at Penistone Library and Library @ the Lightbox.
  • Lucy Pimpernel Wood – Fine art paintings from historical photographs, on loan within the Home Library Service.
  • Bridg Murray – Moths and biodiversity art installation and family workshops at Royston Library.
  • Amazelab – Story dioramas children’s workshop at three Barnsley Libraries branches.
  • Tom Juniper – A response to Maurice Dobson, poetry performance at Darfield Library.
  • Jilly Sumsion – creative writing workshops for people experiencing menopause.

Cllr Wendy Cain, Cabinet Spokesperson for Public Health and Communities, said: “It’s been fantastic to see such a great interest from our local artists and creatives to help us make culture and art more accessible to our local communities.

“The selected commissions will certainly inspire and bring joy as well as widen the cultural offer across all Barnsley Libraries branches.”

More information about the selected commissions, including dates and locations will be announced in the due course.

At the end of 2022, Barnsley Libraries was awarded National Portfolio Organisation status and is committed to bringing art and culture to local communities as part of their enhanced offer.

The creative commissions are supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

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