Meet the artists

This summer brings our first Artist Takeovers to Aviva Studios.

We've invited two Manchester-based artist collectives – Jennifer Jackson, Rosie Elnile and Craig McCorquodale, and 54: Manchester – to take over the Warehouse space.

Applications for the autumn Artist Takeover will open in April 2024.

Jennifer Jackson, Rosie Elnile and Craig McCorquodale

We are thrilled to be the inaugural artists to Takeover at Factory International. It marks a critical intervention into performance in the UK, by pushing genre-defying, non-narrative, radical work into large stages for three young Co-Lead Artists.

This new collaboration will experiment with malleable materials like clay to transform Aviva Studios into a world redolent of the Roman gladiatorial arena, with its glory and cruelty. The trio hopes to bring together 100 professional and non-professional performers including wrestlers, marching bands and a male choir for this live art experiment.

Headshot of Jennifer Jackson

Jennifer Jackson

Jennifer is a British-Bolivian theatre-maker, movement director and actor based in Manchester. Her work interrogates how women and girls use their bodies, and the complexities of living between cultures in the UK. Her acclaimed work ENDURANCE is a sports spectacle between running and dance, exploring colonial legacies through the prism of the Bolivian warrior Bartolina Sisa, and modern day women who are out-performing men in ultra-marathons. ENDURANCE was presented at BAC and HOME in 2021 and 2023, and was shortlisted for the Theatertreffen Stueckmarkt (Berliner Festpiele, 2022). Her new work WRESTLELADSWRESTLE draws on her teenage judo career, interrogating the myth of empowerment with an ensemble of 30 women.

She has been supported by Teatro4Garoupas/Theaterhaus Mitte (Berlin), Barbican Open Lab (for WRESTLELADSWRESTLE), Bank Artist Sheffield Theatres (2022), Evolve Artist Oxford Playhouse (2020), Leverhulme Arts Scholarship (2019), and was selected for the 'Scene Change Residency 2023' (curated by BAC, HET Theater Festival, Nederlands Theater Festival). 

Awards: Jerwood New Work Award (2023); MGC Futures Award (2022); Jerwood Live Work Award (2021); Olivier Award for Best Production in an Affiliate Theatre (Baby Reindeer, 2020).

Theatre: Cowbois (RSC & Royal Court); Julius Caesar (RSC); I, JOAN, Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice (Shakespeare's Globe); Britannicus (Lyric Hammersmith); KES (Bolton Octagon); The Mountaintop, Cuttin’ it, Wuthering Heights, Death of a Salesman, Queens of the Coal Age, Our Town (Royal Exchange Theatre); Baby Reindeer (Francesca Moody Productions/The Bush); Midnight Movie, Invisible Summer, Living Newspaper (Royal Court); Perspective (New Views National Theatre); Mountaintop UK Tour (Young Vic).

Television and Film: Hope (Clean Break), Hold Hold Fire (ICA, Olivia Plender), The Great (Hulu).

Events: Coventry Moves, Coventry City of Culture 2021 (Lead Choreographer).

Headshot of Rosie Elnile

Rosie Elnile 

Rosie is an award winning theatre designer who works between theatre, opera and live art. She likes using fragile, vulnerable materials and uncanny objects to make spaces with emotional atmospheres and subtleties. 

Her work is often overtly theatrical and she attempts to use stage design to think about the way space informs, creates and disrupts hegemony. 

Rosie has designed shows in theatres across the UK such as at The Globe, Royal Court, The Yard, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Manchester Royal Exchange as well as working in mainland  Europe. 

She has been an Associate Artist at the Gate Theatre and as part of her role she created Prayer which imagined what it would be like to plant a garden of weeds in the theatre and what it would mean to engage in a theatrical space with active care. 

In 2021 she received a Jerwood Arts Grant to explore scenography as the solo narrative tool in a process. 

Headshot of Craig McCorquodale

Craig McCorquodale

Craig is a Glasgow-based artist working in experimental performance. He thinks of performance as a kind of combat sport — vivid, capricious, bound up in spectacle. This means a distinct belief that art allows people to transcend their everyday selves. That we can come into contact with the miraculous. 

His work exists to challenge what theatre can be and how far the stage can go in presenting real life. His enduring interest is collaborating with people who might never have done anything like this before, inviting unusual constituencies of people into the process and on to the stage. Craig names this as Social Sculpture: working with the experience people have of their own lives to create radical, vital and beautiful performance events.

In 2023, Craig premiered Walk With Me While I Remember You in Toronto – a one-to-one performance walk for city parks made with young people who have experienced the loss of a parent. Also in 2023, Craig culminated a residency with libraries commissioned by Inverclyde Culture Collective, with the presentation of Questions of Democracy. Playing with the relationship between language, power and public space, the work unfolded over a continuous 24-hour period as Craig installed 24 different pieces of text around Inverclyde – one each hour of the day. 

His projects in development are being supported by Battersea Arts Centre, FABRIC, Tramway, Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts and VIERNULVIER. In 2023, Craig was awarded the Jerwood Arts New Work Fund and in 2021 he was a recipient of the Jerwood Arts Live Work Fund. He has previously been commissioned by Wunder der Prärie Festival at Zeitraumexit and Lyra and regularly works with National Theatre of Scotland.

He often collaborates with 21Common, Mammalian Diving Reflex, Quarantine and Hydra Arts and in these contexts has toured to Triennale Milano, VIERNULVIER, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Sydney Fringe, Taranaki Festival in New Zealand, Brighton Festival, Theater Neumarkt in Zürich, Freedom Festival Hull and Colchester Arts Centre. 

  • As a Manchester based artist, it’s a huge honour to be the inaugural ‘Artist Takeover’. To be granted the space and resource to experiment with an idea at scale in its earliest iteration, is a humbling gift in such challenging times. It's exciting and radical to be able to work with scenographic ideas and participation side-by-side, allowing us to explore a theatrical spectacle at a scale not afforded to many artists in the UK.

    Jennifer Jackson

  • It's such a rare and exciting gift to be able to experiment with a scenographic idea at scale – it's pretty moving to be trusted to try an idea that is as unknown and fragile as this. It feels like a moment where set design needs to innovate aesthetically and practically to  meet the current moment and it's only through opportunities to work in 1:1 scale that this can happen.

    Rosie Elnile

  • Amidst a challenging cultural context, the invitation to make work at scale, especially performance that sits beyond the literary canon, is exciting and rare. Experimenting with a form between scenography, participation and the sports spectacle, we hope to mark an intervention into the type of work that can be led by UK artists. This feels exactly the type of opportunity needed right now and we hope this Takeover will allow us to begin building big, visceral, unforgettable live moments for new audiences.

    Craig McCorquodale

54: Manchester

We are excited for this long-forming ambition as individual artists and also friends to begin collaborating in a formal sense. Interweaving our respective disciplines and materialising a shared vision, we hope to take our practices to greater strengths and at elevated scale in every way. The chance to begin this in the comfort of our home town is a blessing and we look forward to developing an immersive installation, encapsulating the interconnections of our cultures and specifically the Northern Black British experience. We will combine our skills to develop a family of works spanning physical structure, film, sound and material design as the medium for a new form of storytelling through cross discipline exploration collectively as 54: Manchester.

54: Manchester intend to create an immersive audio-visual installation, investigating the interconnections between their heritage and culture. Using archive film materials, sound, and material design, the collective hope to present a contemporary and authentic representation of the Black British experience in the North West.

Headshot of Tibyan M Sanoh

Tibyan Mahawah Sanoh

Tibyan Mahawah Sanoh is a filmmaker, visual artist and writer. Her work explores new narratives about working class beauty, documenting intimate moments through visual representation and humanizing personal experiences. Her boundary-pushing audio-visual projects have showcased internationally including Tate Modern, ICA, Kings Place, CTM Festival, Strelka Institute Moscow. Tibyan is part of the We Are Parable Momentum programme, an award winning film exhibition company in partnership with Channel 4 and Sony Pictures Television. Tibyan leads a young black women’s group in Manchester, offering weekly therapeutic peer support, focusing on the mental health and wellbeing for young Black or Black heritage Women, trans black women and non-binary people.

Headshot of Jahqira Henry

Jahqira Henry

Jahqira Henry’s creative outputs present as visual documentation or curated environments; in either case they’re made to provoke emotive responses and conversation. Her imagery, which mainly documents the North West of England where she’s based, revolves around depictions of intimate spaces and the figures within them, commissioned works include The New York Times and The Face. She gained experience in New York working for Ryan Mcginley on projects including Mirror Mirror and Yearbook. Over recent years Jahqira has worked amongst the fields of creative direction and curation producing various curated spaces and outcomes for several artists and brands, naturally leading to her forming 54 an artist agency, launching 2024.

Space Afrika stood next to the ocean

Joshua Inyang and Joshua Tarelle

Joshua Inyang and Joshua Tarelle aka Space Afrika are a multi-disciplinary production duo from Manchester working across contemporary electronic music, film, print, and score. Performing globally at art institutions, clubs and festivals, their work has received international acclaim. Recently they scored Pacific Club, [Valentin Noujaïm], winning the Jury Special Mention at CPH:DOX, Lichter FF, Videoex, DokuFest and nominated for a Best Short Film Documentary at the 2024 César Awards. In June 2023, they signed to Warp Publishing.

Recent highlights include being featured as 'the sound of England' for the Cover of FACE Magazine and producing sound for DIOR's SS Haute Couture 2023 presentation.

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