Floating arts venue comes to Leeds-Liverpool canal

Artists in residence Cis O'Boyle and Rachel Anderson, right, with the canal boat, which will be a floating arts venue, Idle Women
Artists in residence Cis O'Boyle and Rachel Anderson, right, with the canal boat, which will be a floating arts venue, Idle Women
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The arts are coming to Burnley – by boat!

An 18m long floating arts venue on a converted narrowboat has been lifted by crane onto the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, before officially launching tomorrow – International Women’s Day.

A canal boat, which will be a floating arts venue, Idle Women, is delivered on a lorry and lifted with a crane into the Leeds-Liverpool Canal.  It will tour the waterways until 2017.

A canal boat, which will be a floating arts venue, Idle Women, is delivered on a lorry and lifted with a crane into the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. It will tour the waterways until 2017.

The project “idle women (on the water)” is touring the waterways of East Lancashire, West Yorkshire and Manchester for the rest of the year with on-board artists in residence. It aims to connect with communities and events as it travels.

It was set onto the canal at Knott’s Bridge Mooring in Lower Rosegrove Lane on Thursday afternoon and is now bringing the arts by boat to Burnley, beginning tomorrow when it is berthed at Sandygate Mill in the Weavers’ Triangle.

Idle women is an organisation which creates contemporary art with women. The tailormade boat will host a series of live-in residencies for leading contemporary female artists. Martina Mullaney will take up the first residency, with her daughter and their dog.

She is one of six artists, including Mojisola Adebayo and recent Paul Hamlyn award winner Karen Mirza, who will live and work on the narrowboat as it tours canalside places and meets local people.

To coincide with the launch, idle women have commissioned new writing by historian and feminist activist Silvia Federici, the author of “Caliban and the Witch”.

Photographer Dana Popa was also commissioned to take portraits of particular local women involved in idle women (on the water), the everyday architects of women’s place, change makers and activators.

Idle women was formed in 2015 by its two caretakers, Rachel Anderson and Cis O’Boyle, and this is their first touring project.