About Being Co-operative

An exhibition and multi-artists residency project exploring symbols and meaning of being co-operative.

FREE Workshops: Wed 1st February – Wed 8th March 2023 [book via eventbrite]

Exhibition: Wed 8th March – Friday 31st March 2023, open Tue-Sat 10am-4pm [call for entries *] * Entries should relate to the theme of Being Co-operative. See link.

A post-pandemic response that brings together artists, creatives, and community participants. Being Co-operative is a necessary response to the overwhelming negative and isolating experiences of the last two years of Covid 19 pandemic, which closed many public buildings, cut off our creative and social lives, and saw huge social and financial losses and mass deaths.

To recover and heal ourselves we need a new spirit of co-operation, a new hive of industry, and a
new values-based culture of mutual respect, tolerance, and diversity. We need an ecology and an
environment that sustains and renews itself and leaves us feeling whole, respected, included,
connected, and creatively fulfilled and satisfied.

In this project we will look forward to new ways of being together and co-operating. We will also
take inspiration and deep learning from past co-operatives, referencing the unique places of Paisley,
its vibrant social, cultural, and industrial past. We will look to a Future Paisley that is renewed,
contemporary and whole where creativity is at the heart and soul of our town and engages and
excites all of us with the potential of lives lived well.

The project will centre on The Art Department, once part of the huge Co-operative Wholesale
Society, the buildings of which were founded by the hand-loom weavers, artisans, and industrialists
of the Paisley Co-operative & Manufacturing Society (estd. 1862)

Paisley has a unique reputation for social health and well-being, civil rights, and workers
movements. Join us in BEING CO-OPERATIVE as we enter the second quarter of the 21st Century.

Participants will work with the following artists:

  • Marion Gardyne, Painter/Collage artist with keen interest in world architecture and heritage.
  • Lil Brookes, painter, and heritage specialist with keen interest in the Paisley Pattern and social history.
  • Morwenna Kearsley, photographer who works on community, collaborative heritage, & documentary arts projects.
  • Lilja Husmo, a costumier with a keen interest in historical and vintage costume.
  • Hector Dyer, a textile artist with a strong interest in contemporary weaving and heritage skills.

Supported by Renfrewshire Council’s Culture, Heritage & Events Fund as part of the Future Paisley programme.