Online Creative Workshops: Manchester and Rest of UK

Holly Eliza Temple

Another national lockdown is upon us. Many of our goals for the new year will already have felt uncertain, but now it might feel more difficult to achieve them. But don’t worry, we’ve done the research so that you don’t have to, and have gathered a selection of creative online workshops hosted by galleries and organisations across Manchester – and London – that are accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. Wanted to pick up painting? Learn more about philosophy? We’ve got you covered. 

Fabric of Protest
People’s History Museum
Saturday 30th January, 14:00-15:30
Wanting to pick up a needle and thread and stitch your way through lockdown? Usually hosted at People’s History Museum in Manchester, Fabric of Protest is an informal monthly meet-up, now held online. Join the workshop for an hour of sewing and sharing inspired by the PHM collections. This month artist Helen Mather explores the theme of migration and encourages participants to create textiles inspired by the discussion – but you’re also free to work on your own projects and simply watch and listen if you like! You can book your place on Eventbrite for each workshop – tickets are on a sliding scale from free to £6.00 to suit all incomes. 

Philosophy Café
Manchester Art Gallery
Tuesday 19th January, 11:00-12:30
Wednesday 3rd February, 18:30-20:00
Philosophy Café runs on the first Wednesday evening and third Tuesday morning of each month at Manchester Art Gallery, offering a chance for the public to explore philosophical questions while viewing art. The conversation has now been moved to Zoom, helping to bring people together for creative discussion, wherever you are. The theme of this month’s Tuesday session is “Can one make oneself happy or unhappy?” – You don’t need to be a philosopher or artist to join in the discussion, just put on your thinking cap and sign up for free.

Introduction to Watercolour
Sunday 24th January, 11:00-13:00
ArtMCR are an organisation running creative workshops and distributing DIY art kits for those wanting to pick up a new skill, or jump back into creating. If you’re a budding painter (of any age), this beginners’ workshop will introduce you to painting with watercolour in two hours, hosted by artist Sally Slide. The workshop isn’t exactly free at £29.95, but you will be sent a home kit of all materials needed, including watercolour paper, paint, brushes and a mixing palette, and you’ll be walked through a range of techniques and effects to paint your own landscape. This also makes a great pick-me-up present for anyone you know who needs a little fun and inspiration during lockdown.

Wednesday 13th January, 14:00-15:30
If you’re nearing or in your 60s - or have a family member or friend who is - Soapbox is a peer-led workshop for you to share your views on art and life in a safe and friendly atmosphere. A free workshop led online by group members, this session investigates the history of art theft, encouraging stimulating debate and discussion around ‘high-profile plunder’. A creative opportunity to challenge your brain and engage with others from home.

You can book your free space online at the TATE website now.

Winter Herbal Remedy Making
Hackney Herbal
Sunday 17th January, 11:00-13:00
After the year we’ve had, it’s no surprise that self-care is all the rage. Hackney Herbal are a London-based collective promoting the benefits of adding herbs into your lifestyle through community activities. From incorporating them into your food and brewing scented teas, to face products and essential oils, Hackney Herbal are hosting a diverse range of workshops to suit any keen aromatherapist, foodie or beauty fanatic. This session introduces you to herbs that support the immune system and recipes to soothe colds, aches and pains. The two hour Zoom session costs £20 and includes digital recipe handouts for you to keep. If this one doesn’t take your fancy, take a lot at their packed schedule online to get you gardening, cooking or creating with herbs.

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