ENTWINED: Knowledge & power in the age of Captain Cook
Aug
23
to Oct 13

ENTWINED: Knowledge & power in the age of Captain Cook

August 2018 marks 250 years since Captain James Cook set sail on a voyage of discovery considered by many to be the most significant in world history. Inspired by some of The Portico Library’s most fascinating items – first editions of Cook’s illustrated journals and the accompanying publications – we will select and present items from the collection that expose some of the motivating ideologies and streams of thought behind the encounters of the period.

This exhibition will take the form of a unique textile installation, accompanied by further treasures from the Library’s collection published during Cook’s lifetime, including Carl Linnaeus’ pioneering natural history volume 'Flora Lapponica', Adam Smith’s master work 'The Wealth of Nations', and Voltaire’s revolutionary satire 'Candide'. This project marks the start of a new ongoing collaboration with members of the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies, King’s College London.

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Seventeen Artists*
Sep
1
to Sep 30

Seventeen Artists*

This series will present seventeen artistic personalities, selecting some examples from different centuries: we will look at their lives and their art, put them into context, and as a result of the analysis of their biographies, we will acknowledge how their identity as female artists affected their careers, their work and their role for the following generations. These four sessions can be joined as stand-alone events or attended as a course to receive the full benefit of Sara’s inspiring teaching style. These sessions are perfect for anyone who wishes to strengthen their knowledge of the History of Art.

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Captain Cook's Endeavour
Sep
20
6:30 PM18:30

Captain Cook's Endeavour

This talk is brought to you during The Portico Library's exhibition, ENTWINED: Knowledge & power in the age of Captain Cook. August 2018 marks 250 years since Captain James Cook set sail on a voyage of discovery considered by many to be the most significant in world history. Inspired by some of The Portico Library’s most fascinating items – first editions of Cook’s illustrated journals and the accompanying publications – we will select and present items from the collection that expose some of the motivating ideologies and streams of thought behind the encounters of the period.

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Writers' Evening: Hope Road at The Portico
Sep
25
6:30 PM18:30

Writers' Evening: Hope Road at The Portico

The Portico Library is delighted to host three outstanding authors, represented by HopeRoad publishing house in London. These authors will read their work at a laidback literary event with drinks and light canapes provided. Discover these trans-cultural fiction writers and discuss the topics they inspire with the other guests in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

HopeRoad promotes inclusive literature with a focus of Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. They support often neglected voices and many of their YA titles focus on issues dealing with identity, cultural stereo-typing and disability. At the heart of their publishing is the love of outstanding writing.

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The Victorians & the Reinvention of The Italian Renaissance
Sep
27
6:30 PM18:30

The Victorians & the Reinvention of The Italian Renaissance

From Giotto to Michelangelo, Dante to Petrarch, Florence to Rome, Italy's Renaissance left an indelible mark on the Victorians. Former Portico Librarian, Emma Marigliano, explores how British artists and poets reinterpreted and mythologised Italian culture for the British public.

This event is brought to you by the Dante Alighieri Society in Manchester with delicious Italian nibbles and wine provided after the talk.

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BSL Exhibition Tour: ENTWINED
Oct
6
11:30 AM11:30

BSL Exhibition Tour: ENTWINED

Jennifer Little will conduct a tour in British Sign Language (with no spoken English). She will introduce The Portico Library’s building and collection, and give insights on the present exhibition, ENTWINED: Knowledge & power in the age of Captain Cook.

August 2018 marks 250 years since Captain James Cook set sail on a voyage of discovery considered by many to be the most significant in world history. Inspired by some of The Portico Library’s most fascinating items – first editions of Cook’s illustrated journals and the accompanying publications – we will select and present items from the collection that expose some of the motivating ideologies and streams of thought behind the encounters of the period.

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Please note that the library is accessed via a staircase. There is no lift but a stair lift is available via the rear entrance.

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Risa Takita: BIND. Asia Triennial Manchester at The Portico Library.
Oct
6
1:30 PM13:30

Risa Takita: BIND. Asia Triennial Manchester at The Portico Library.

Dancer, artist and curator Risa Takita has developed a new interactive performance through research into the history of Manchester at The Portico Library. Specially commissioned for Asia Triennial Manchester 2018, Risa’s new work raises questions about the meaning of identity, history and culture and draws inspiration and insight from the library’s connections with the wider world over the last three centuries.

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Asia Triennial Manchester at The Portico Library. Free tour and introduction to the collection
Oct
10
1:00 PM13:00

Asia Triennial Manchester at The Portico Library. Free tour and introduction to the collection

The Portico Library was established in 1806 and remains in its original purpose-built venue in the heart of Manchester City Centre, still fulfilling its original function and welcoming visitors six days a week for exhibitions, dining and events. Its collection was compiled throughout the colonial period and reflects the complex relationships that developed between Asia and Britain throughout the 19th century. Join Asia Triennial Manchester 2018 artist and former Portico exhibitor Saima Rasheed to learn about the library’s history, collection and current exhibition ENTWINED: Knowledge & power in the age of Captain Cook.

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Sean O'Brien: Quartier Perdu
Oct
11
6:30 PM18:30

Sean O'Brien: Quartier Perdu

Quartier Perdu is the anticipated new collection from multi-award winning short story writer, poet, playwright and journalist, Sean O'Brien.

O’Brien is perhaps Britain’s most decorated living poet, being the only poet to have won the Forward and TS Elliot prizes three times. New collection brings together stories inspired by terror, science and the supernatural, lit with the hue of the Victorian gothic. Some stories written in direct response to the famous Literature and Philosophy Library in Newcastle, where O’Brien lives and is the Professor of Creative Writing at the university.

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Spirited
Oct
19
to Nov 2

Spirited

Spirited tells the stories of some of the young women and girls who fought for the vote 100 years ago, centring on Manchester as the birthplace of the suffrage movement. It brings to life their incredible acts of courage, creativity and cunning in order to inspire today’s young people into taking their own first steps into social action.

Some of the young women featured, who fought with such courage for the right to vote, did not qualify to do so when the Representation of the People Act was finally passed in 1918.

Either they were too young – the Act had an age qualification of 30 for women – or else they didn’t meet the property ownership qualification. One, cruelly, died the year after the Act was passed – but three years before she would have been old enough to cast a vote.

Their stories, and the stories of all the brave and bold women and men who demanded their right to be counted, are told here as a provocation to today’s young activists to embrace the opportunities on offer, and to be the change they want to see.

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Nimco Ali on the campaign to end FGM worldwide
Oct
19
6:30 PM18:30

Nimco Ali on the campaign to end FGM worldwide

Nimco Ali is a British Somali feminist, writer and social activist. She is co-founder and director of Daughters of Eve, a survivor-led organisation which has helped to transform the approach to ending female genital mutilation (FGM). Nimco will be talking about her current work to ensure Somaliland, where 98% of women and girls are affected, enacts legislation to ban FGM.

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Wendy Bardsley on Mary Wollstonecraft
Oct
20
2:00 PM14:00

Wendy Bardsley on Mary Wollstonecraft

In her excellent new novel, Wendy Louise Bardsley takes the reader on a journey from Yorkshire to London, Wales, and Paris, as she explores the remarkable life of Mary Wollstonecroft. As a young woman, Mary copes with a bullying father, a subjugated mother, sees young friends die in childbirth and from tuberculosis. And whilst her elder brother Ned follows an unfettered path to a career as a lawyer, Mary is deprived of a formal education. All of these experiences combine to shape Mary’s ideals for the improvement of the lot of women, a subject she pursues passionately throughout her adult life. 

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SheSays Manchester - putting women in the lead
Oct
22
6:30 PM18:30

SheSays Manchester - putting women in the lead

*SheSays Manchester is a wholly inclusive event with a difference – an open space for discussion where women take the lead. *SheSays Manchester also matches mentors and mentees, creating opportunities for women to lead and inspire other women. Vimla Appadoo will talk about *SheSays Manchester and take questions from the audience at the end.

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Helen Pankhurst on Deeds Not Words: reading and Q&A
Oct
23
6:30 PM18:30

Helen Pankhurst on Deeds Not Words: reading and Q&A

Helen Pankhurst is an international development and women's rights activist and writer. Pankhurst is currently CARE International's senior advisor working in the UK and Ethiopia. Pankhurst is the great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst, who were both leaders in the British suffragette movement. Helen will be reading from her latest book Deeds Not Words, which will be followed by a Q&A.

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Suffragettes on film: with thanks to the BFI
Oct
25
2:00 PM14:00

Suffragettes on film: with thanks to the BFI

Bryony Dixon has researched and written on many aspects of early and silent film, and co-directs the annual British Silent Film Festival, as well as programming for a variety of film festivals and events worldwide. Now the BFI’s silent film curator, Bryony oversees its archive of suffragette films, and will discuss how the battle for women’s suffrage in the early years of the 20th century was captured – and carried out – on film.

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Clare Debenham on Birth Control and the Rights of Women in the Early 20th Century
Oct
29
6:30 PM18:30

Clare Debenham on Birth Control and the Rights of Women in the Early 20th Century

After the granting of the vote to women in 1918, the struggle for women's rights intensified with a nationwide campaign for the right to birth control. This campaign was met with a great deal of hostility; it threatened to overturn Victorian ideas about female sexuality, female empowerment and the traditional roles within the family. The most well known of the campaigners, scientist and early feminist Marie Stopes, opened clinics across England which fitted 'contraception caps' to women for free. The first history of this grassroots social movement after the Suffragettes offers a window into the social and cultural history of the period, and features new archival material in the forms of memoirs, personal papers and press cuttings. This is an essential contribution to the influential field of women's history and a vital addition to the history of feminism. The lecture focuses on 'Marie Stopes, Reluctant Mancunion , Sexual Revolutionary and Birth Control Pioneer ' as it is the 100th anniversary of the publication of her ground breaking 'Married Love' which was a best-seller. 'Marie Stopes was voted in the top ten of this month's BBC History readers' poll of 'Women Who Changed the World'.

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Spirited: Audio Described Exhibition Tour
Oct
30
5:30 PM17:30

Spirited: Audio Described Exhibition Tour

Anne Hornsby of Mind's Eye Description Services will deliver an audio-described tour for blind and partially sighted visitors. She will introduce The Portico Library’s building and collection, and describe the present exhibition Spirited.

Spirited tells the stories of some of the young women and girls who fought for the vote 100 years ago, centring on Manchester as the birthplace of the suffrage movement. It brings to life their incredible acts of courage, creativity and cunning in order to inspire today’s young people into taking their own first steps into social action.

Book online

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RECLAIMing social activism for the working class
Oct
31
2:00 PM14:00

RECLAIMing social activism for the working class

RECLAIM was set up in Moss Side in 2007, to identify and support young leaders from an intensely pressurised community. It continues its work to help young working class people to develop their skills and potential, and to build their pathway to make the world a better place for all. In this informal event some of RECLAIM’s proud and passionate young working class feminists will talk about their journey into social action.

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Letters on Nocturnal Magic
Nov
1
6:30 PM18:30

Letters on Nocturnal Magic

First Draft have commissioned a line up of talented artists to create new performances inspired by the library's mysterious collection of books on the occult. Throughout the evening, they'll take you into a world of witches and necromancers, demons and magicians, and ghostly apparitions bringing warnings from beyond the grave.

Don't miss this special Halloween evening of cabaret at the atmospheric Portico Library - one of Manchester's most beautiful hidden gems.

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What can we learn from IC Change?
Nov
2
2:00 PM14:00

What can we learn from IC Change?

IC Change is a volunteer-led campaign that helped change the law on violence against women. The IC Change campaign called on the UK Government to ratify the Istanbul Convention (IC) which sets minimum standards for governments to meet when tackling violence against women, including taking necessary steps to prevent violence, protect women and prosecute perpetrators. They celebrated victory in December 2016 when 135 MPs voted in favour of ratification (although two voted against). We’ll hear from IC Change leaders and get an update on where the campaign is now.

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Emma Anderson: Stories of Radical 19th Century Women and Egypt
Nov
15
6:30 PM18:30

Emma Anderson: Stories of Radical 19th Century Women and Egypt

Emma Anderson will deliver talk on some of the women influential in early Egyptology by telling the story of their journeys to North Africa and their further work in Britain. In the centenary of the Representation of the People act, she seeks to understand the increasingly gloablised world in which women were living nearly 150 years ago, and the journey towards universal suffrage.

Having already delivered this talk at the Aitkinson in Southport, Anderson brings her research to The Portico Library, which holds a wealth of literature on 19th century women travellers. A selection of these volumes will be brought out on the evening to be viewed and considered alongside the lecture.

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Politics, Power and the People
Nov
23
3:00 PM15:00

Politics, Power and the People

The political and social struggles that surrounded the Peterloo Massacre in 1819 and were nothing new. Those holding power sought to keep it, use it and would, on occasion, abuse it. Their opponents demanded a say in government, in the way their lives were organised, and how they might improve their lot in life by political action.

Peterloo was one tragic episode in that eternal struggle: reflecting a world of political hopes and ideas and it would, consciously or not, shape the political thoughts of generations to come.

Some of these ideas are the themes of a series of talks on politics and power.

The format is a 1 hour lecture followed by tea, cake and casual discussion.

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Day-long Closure
Sep
5
9:30 AM09:30

Day-long Closure

The Portico Library will be closed to visitors on Wednesday the 5th of September 2018 for staff training. The Library will still be accessible to members, readers and researchers. We apologise for any inconvenience this closure may cause you. The Library will re-open on Thursday the 6th of September at 9:30am.

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Gin! An Education.
Aug
30
6:30 PM18:30

Gin! An Education.

David Winnard of Discover the Wild will introduce the evening with a brief history of gin and from there he will lead a tasting. With David’s amazing knowledge of foraging and the natural world, he will explain the way that gin is produced and infused with some wonderful flavours. Later on, Theresa Sowerby will perform some poems with her inimitable humour and gusto! Three cocktails are included in the price and some simple and delicious food accompaniments will be provided. There are few more splendid settings in Manchester in which to enjoy a gin tasting!

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Poetry Event: Finding the Cotton Famine
Jul
31
6:30 PM18:30

Poetry Event: Finding the Cotton Famine

During the Cotton Famine, an outpouring of poetry told of the despair and suffering endured by the people of Lancashire. Academics at the University of Exeter have been working to build an accessible database of these poems and to launch this resource there will be a mixture of recitation and song set in the context of the project and this important history. As well as entertainment, there will also be information provided on how to use the database. Come along to this event in celebration of the database launch to hear the poems and pay tribute to the past.

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Reading Jane Austen
Jul
26
6:30 PM18:30

Reading Jane Austen

‘“They slowly paced the gradual ascent”: taking time with Jane Austen’s novels.’ This talk will propose that slow reading of key sentences and paragraphs – awarding them the close attention more often invited by poetry – can draw us into the heart of Jane Austen’s writing. Examples will be chosen from Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma and Persuasion. Bill Hutchings is an Honorary Research Fellow at The University of Manchester.

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BiblioTECH: artists' talks & Q&A
Jul
25
6:00 PM18:00

BiblioTECH: artists' talks & Q&A

Join the exhibitors to hear about the background of the works on display and the ideas and processes behind their practices. Refreshments will be available, and the artists will be joined by Allie Johns, Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing & Digital Human Behaviour at Manchester Metropolitan University. Allie will draw on her accompanying short article ‘A little digital learning is a dangerous thing. Or is it?’

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The Chanteuse Sings Modiano
Jul
13
6:30 PM18:30

The Chanteuse Sings Modiano

The Chanteuse aka Lucy Hope, has released an album of songs written by eminent French writer, Patrick Modiano (Nobel Prize for Literature in 2014). It is little known that Modiano penned exquisite lyrics for some of the famous yéyé recording artists in the late 60s/early 70s. The Chanteuse will be bringing these songs to a 'salon' at the Portico Library.

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Sophie Willan: Tales of the Weird, the Wild and the Wonderful
Jul
7
12:00 PM12:00

Sophie Willan: Tales of the Weird, the Wild and the Wonderful

Bolton born Comedian, Sophie Willan, will be reading extracts from her two short stories for children in Tales of The Weird, The Wild and The Wonderful, intermingled with friendly compering and interactive games. Come and enjoy and afternoon of fun and hilarity, perfect for kids and their adults! The book, aimed at 7 - 11 year olds, will be available to purchase, and Sophie will have a pen ready to sign your copy.

Being brought up in care and given the repeated words, ‘Rude, rebellious and defiant’ on social workers’ reports, Sophie has gone on to become one of the UK’s leading ambassadors for Homeless and Care Experienced Young People. In 2015, Sophie created the dynamic multi-platform project, Stories of Care which works with Care-Leavers across the Greater Manchester region. Tales of The Weird, The Wild and The Wonderful is one of the outcomes of this work and it includes stories by the young people involved. The book is entertaining, inspiring and comforting, with its positive, relatable role models and fictional characters. It is also jaw-achingly funny.

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Closure for children's event, 12 - 2pm Saturday 7 July
Jul
7
12:00 PM12:00

Closure for children's event, 12 - 2pm Saturday 7 July

Tickets are available for Sophie Willan’s event for children. Willan, will be reading extracts from her two short stories for children in Tales of The Weird, The Wild and The Wonderful, intermingled with friendly compering and interactive games. Come and enjoy and afternoon of fun and hilarity, perfect for kids and their adults! The book, aimed at 7 - 11 year olds, will be available to purchase, and Sophie will have a pen ready to sign your copy.

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BiblioTECH: from bookshelf to big data
Jul
6
to Aug 18

BiblioTECH: from bookshelf to big data

Artists Dan Hays, Jane Lawson and Claire Tindale explore the opportunities and challenges that arise as we adapt to new technological formats for storing and sharing information. Over five centuries ago, Johannes Gutenberg's invention of the mechanical printing press revolutionised access to literature, and with it, all aspects of society - from politics and religion to science and education. The subsequent development of libraries and global publishing made it possible for millions of people to access texts from all over the world and now, new innovations allow us to hold entire libraries in the palm of our hand - and transfer them across continents in seconds.

As digital humans, we find ourselves in a world of virtual bookshelves, navigating a course through a seemingly infinite sea of data. While digitisation projects strive to store as much data as possible in the Cloud, what will be the role of books and libraries? Will they eventually become obsolete, or are there particular benefits they will always retain, and how will we, as digital humans, continue to react and adapt our behaviour?

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Peterloo from The Portico
Jun
7
6:30 PM18:30

Peterloo from The Portico

On the 16th of August 1819 Manchester was witness to the most dramatic political incident in British history - so says Ed Glinert of New Manchester Walks. 60,000 people met at St Peter's Field, near The Portico Library, to demonstrate for the right to vote and against the unjust laws of the period.

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Beautiful Monsters
May
17
to Jun 30

Beautiful Monsters

The fantastical creatures illustrated in the 16th-century encyclopaedia Historiae Animalium have influenced countless writers and scholars through the centuries and form the starting point for The Portico Library’s 2018 exhibition, Beautiful Monsters. The book’s author, Conrad Gessner, included actual and mythological animals side-by-side, including many labelled ‘monsters’, with little distinction between the real and the imaginary. Six international exhibitors have responded to this and other volumes in the library’s collection with new works incorporating drawing, painting, textiles, robotics and artists’ books, considering where the idea of the monstrous sits within themes of history, mythology and 21st-century life.

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Performance: So Many Voices
May
8
7:00 PM19:00

Performance: So Many Voices

Responding to The Portico Library’s commitment to develop an accessible public programme, and our current exhibition In So Many Words: Roget's Thesaurus & the Power of Language, artists Jez Dolan and Rowland Hill have composed new live performance works with audio description and British Sign Language elements from 7pm on Tuesday 8th May. Each have worked with experienced collaborators including composer Michael Betteridge and members of Manchester Deaf Centre to compose ambitious new performances from their researches at The Portico Library, expanding their artworks beyond text and print into original works in sound and gesture.

 

Preceding this, from 6pm, Anne Hornsby will deliver the library’s first ever audio-described exhibition tour for blind and partially sighted visitors. She will introduce The Portico Library’s building and collection, and describe the current group exhibition In So Many Words: Roget's Thesaurus & the Power of Language. We will be taking this opportunity to learn how to build an accessible programme of future events and invite all our visitors to join us in this conversation. Please contact us or speak to a member of staff at the library if you would like to give feedback or get involved.

 

All tickets for this one-off event are subsidised through the generous support of the Zochonis Charitable Trust.

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Q&A with Melvin Burgess
Apr
19
6:30 PM18:30

Q&A with Melvin Burgess

A Patron of The Portico Library, Melvin Burgess is an award-winning author of children's and young adult fiction. Often referred to as 'the godfather of teen fiction' by the British press, his novel Junk, published in 1996, was widely lauded for its realistic portrayal of youth, drugs and sex.

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In So Many Words: Roget's Thesaurus and the Power of Language
Apr
3
to May 12

In So Many Words: Roget's Thesaurus and the Power of Language

The Portico Library’s first Secretary, Peter Mark Roget, was a medical doctor, inventor, linguist and mathematician. His contribution to the English language is hard to overstate, with over 30 million copies of his eponymous Thesaurus empowering generations since its first publication in 1852. The Thesaurus was designed, in his words, “to facilitate the expression of ideas” and as such has played a significant part in our ability to communicate, and to negotiate the perils and possibilities of language. As part of the library’s 2018 Information is Power project, funded by The Zochonis Charitable Trust, three contemporary artists have created new works based on research into Roget’s legacy – the role of vocabulary in the 21st century; the power of words; the uses and abuses of text and speech.

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Sophie Tyrrell: The Uncivilised Sun
Mar
16
to Mar 24

Sophie Tyrrell: The Uncivilised Sun

Sophie Tyrrell is a painter, sculptor and performance artist with a background in theatre and storytelling. Her Magnificent Menagerie of Mrs Strange, a group of larger-than-life wearable artworks created for the National Trust in 2017, comes to The Portico Library this February alongside prints, paintings and researches into the library’s collection. Through books and artworks, Sophie illuminates the links between diverse traditions in myth, folklore and popular culture, exploring the idea of ‘uncivilisation’ and the alternative histories we share across borders and among peoples.

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