9 05 2014

Anyone who visits the Whitworth Art Gallery will know that it is situated in the nearest and largest area of green space directly south of Manchester city centre, and in recent years a number of initiatives have gone a long way to integrating the Gallery with its adjacent parkland, whether that is removing the fence separating the two, installing artworks in the surrounding landscape, or encouraging children’s activities in the park in true forest school style (see:

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The first page of MUMA’s concept sketchbook illustrated the importance of the Inside/Outisde, alongside a quote from previous Gallery Director, Margaret Pilkington, who following a visit to Oslo in 1932, wrote:

“I have come to the conclusion that a good museum or gallery should be a place where people feel comfortable. If it stands in a garden or park, the visitors should be able to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors as a counterpoint to what is within.”

In 2011, the Southbank Centre commissioned the Eden Project to create a roof garden on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall where people can relax, eat and drink. In the following film, Gallery staff on a research visit discuss the effects of creating open, green spaces within buildings for the arts. The team from the Whitworth Art Gallery reflect on the importance of the Whitworth Park as the setting for the redeveloped Gallery, and the importance of location in developing both the Gallery programme and visitor services.

Inside/Outside from Belle Vue Productions on Vimeo.