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Co-operation on wheels

Date published: 01 May 2014


Young people from Sparth Youth Club have been working with junk sculptor Richard Dawson and Rochdale Pioneers Museum to create an installation piece of artwork. Using recycled bicycle bits the young people are creating a kinetic sculpture, inspired by the themes cycling and co-operation.

The artwork will be displayed outside the museum throughout the summer to compliment the Rochdale Pioneers Museum’s new temporary exhibition ‘Co-operation on wheels’, which will open on 10 May and will run until 25 October.

The exhibition and the creation of the sculptor have been timed to coincide with the Tour de France coming through Littleborough.

‘Co-operation on wheels’ will look at how bikes were used by co-operative societies and members and how and why the Co-operative Wholesale Society manufactured bikes. It will also examine co-operatives who sponsor Tour De France teams and will explore how a new wave of co-operatives are keeping the historic links between cycling and co-operation alive.

At the exhibition opening on Saturday 10 May the young people will be working on the kinetic sculptor at the museum, giving visitors a chance to participate in the creation of this artwork. The young people have had ownership over the creative process from the outset, having engaged in a Pioneers inspired democratic vote to decide on its content.

The youth group meets weekly on a Wednesday at Sparth Community Centre and have been using this time to participate in this project.

In addition, 21 young people from the Sparth Teenage Play Scheme visited the museum during the Easter holidays to take part in a workshop contributing to the sculpture. Some of these young people were inspired to join the project on Wednesday evenings.

The wider community has also contributed to the creation of this artwork at ‘Cycle Creations’ a family activity, led by Richard Dawson, at the museum in the Easter Holidays.

The kinetic sculpture will be on display by the end of May and a celebration event for the young people will be held at the Museum’s Tour De France Warm Up Event on Saturday 28 June.

The ‘Co-operation on wheels’ exhibition launch day is on Saturday 10 May between 11.00am and 3.00pm. All are welcome and there is no need to book.

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