Leeroy New: Balete Spacecraft

11 - 19 Nov 2023

Free to attend. No booking required.
Leeroy New building Balete Spacecraft in the Social
11 - 19 Nov 2023
The Social, Aviva Studios, Water Street, Manchester, M3 4JQ
Free, no ticket required
Free to attend. No booking required.

Accessibility features available for this event: Audio Description Wheelchair Access

Artist-designer Leeroy New takes over the Social at Aviva Studios with a colourful commentary on consumerism

How much plastic do you reckon you’ve used today? How much have you chucked away? Where does it all go anyway?

We want this new installation from Filipino artist Leeroy New to get you thinking. Landing at Aviva Studios this autumn, this sprawling spaceship-like sculpture takes waste materials and transforms them into a colourful tangle of roots, inspired by the sacred Balete tree of the Philippines.

Made from reclaimed hazel and willow woods that are native to the region as well as plastics found across our city, Balete Spacecraft uses materials from Manchester to highlight a universal issue. Reaching into the far corners of The Social, Leeroy’s work is also a commentary on colonialism, who gets to use up resources and who is left to deal with the waste.

Pop by at the weekend and see the work come to life as dancers dressed as alien-like creatures wearing parts of the sculpture perform in the Social! Check out our full performance schedule below so you don’t miss out.

Leeroy New is a multidisciplinary artist working with film, theatre, product design and fashion. Specially made for The Welcome, Balete Spacecraft is part of Leeroy’s Balete series, where each sculpture is crafted from waste materials. The series is inspired by the mythology of the Balete tree, which is a dwelling place for otherworldly beings in Philippine folklore.

Want to get involved? You’ll be able to add your own creations to the sculpture – guided by workshops, learning along in the Social or on social media. For guided workshops, drop in on the following dates:

  • Saturday 11 November – 1.30 – 3pm
  • Sunday 12 November – 2 – 4pm
  • Saturday 18 November – 1.30 – 3pm

For online resources, see the information below.


Artist Leeroy New with one of his sculptures

Leeroy New | In the Studio


Screenshot from the Leeroy New callout video

Leeroy New | Callout



I'm so looking forward to seeing Leeroy New’s new vibrant creation, taking over the spaces of Aviva Studios. Infecting it almost! There’s two things that I love about the project: 1) the involvement from our communities to produce this work and 2) the locally sourced material, including using willow from Prestwich Clough, and always having sustainability at the top of mind. Come enjoy!

Candice Hull, Factory Assembly member


The Welcome is a series of events celebrating the opening of Aviva Studios, curated by the Factory Assembly. Representing a cross-section of the people of Greater Manchester, we’re calling the shots with a programme that brings together the best in circus, street culture, music, food, art and more.

Access information

Our full address is Aviva Studios, Water Street, Manchester M3 4JQ and the what3words is chop.feeds.chase.

There are accessible toilets on all public levels of our building.

Accessible toilets are located inside the main toilets space in the brick arches of the Social.

Here you’ll find a mixture of accessible cubicles with left- or right-hand transfer, as well as ambulant accessible cubicles with grab rails. This is also where you can find our Changing Places facility.

The toilets in the brick arches of the Social are gender neutral, so you can use facilities in any of the three arches.

There are additional accessible toilets in located in both Hall Foyers, at stalls and circle level.

You do not need a key to use the accessible toilets at Aviva Studios.

Assistance dogs are welcome at Aviva Studios, and we can provide mats and water bowls on request, just ask a host when you arrive. We can also take care of your assistance dog if you are attending a ticketed event and do not want to take your dog into the performance space.

If you’re bringing an assistance dog to this event and would like us to make arrangements to care for them, you’re welcome to let us know by contacting access@factoryinternational.org or calling our access phone number: 0161 817 4531 (phone lines are open 10am to 5pm, Monday to Friday)

You can listen to the audio description for Balete Spacecraft below. The audio description is also available in-venue via QR code.

This project will have free touch tours on Sunday 12 November at 2.30pm and Sunday 19 November at 3pm. We recommend you book a space by clicking here. The touch tours will be led by Mind’s Eye Description.

You will be able to explore the installation at your own pace, and take breaks when you need to.

Travel information

Aviva Studios can be approached along Water Street (coming from Quay Street) or along Liverpool Road (coming from Deansgate or Castlefield).

Our closest stations are:

Salford Central station: 0.4 miles

Deansgate station and Deansgate-Castlefield tram: 0.6 miles

St Peter’s Square tram: 0.6 miles

Manchester Victoria station is approximately one mile from Aviva Studios

Manchester Piccadilly station is approximately 1.3 miles from Aviva Studios

Click on the links above to find detailed access information for each station.

Free bus services stop at all city-centre stations, and near to Aviva Studios along Deansgate, Bridge St and Quay St. Buses on these free routes are wheelchair accessible. For full details of the free bus routes, please visit the TfGM website.

There is a car park approximately 0.6 miles from Aviva Studios at Water Street Car Park, New Elm Rd, Manchester, M3 4JH.

There is also a NCP car park (Manchester Spinningfields) approximately 0.5 miles away from Aviva Studios at Spinningfields, New Quay Street, Manchester, M3 3BE. It has 35 accessible bays.

There are a small number of Blue Badge spaces along Water St and Quay St. Otherwise head towards Liverpool Road, Great John St and Lower Byrom St – close to our neighbours, the Science and Industry Museum where there are a small number of additional Blue Badge spaces.

For a list of other parking bays available in the area, visit Manchester City Council website.

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