Artist in residence Dan Dubowitz will join with property people involved in regenerating Ancoats to lead tours of the area including The Peeps – walled up spaces with peep holes into them – from 1 to 3 July, to coincide with the start of Manchester International Festival.
The Peeps reveal disused tunnels, a canal-side public toilet under a bridge, an overhead walkway, a bell tower, and a substation. The Peeps are viewed through a series of brass eyepieces built into the walls. Each offers a glimpse into a space that has been walled up. There are no plaques or interpretation panels, or a map. They should be discovered as you explore the area and get under the skin of the place.
To introduce these new permanent public artworks to the city and reintroduce people to Ancoats, Dubowitz invited a selection of people who have been involved in transforming the area to offer the public 60 hours of walking tours.
More than 25 guest guides include the archaeologist, architects, artists, developers, regeneration bosses, engineers, journalists, masterplanners and poet who have contributed to remaking Ancoats over the past decade.
The walks will leave from the city centre, through Manchester's Northern Quarter into the heart of Ancoats, around The Peeps and Cutting Room Square before finishing up at the Wastelands exhibition of Dubowitz's photography at the Ice Plant on Blossom Street for an opportunity to chat with the artist and guides.
The Wastelands series started in Ancoats with the 'Presence of Absence' and went on to include Ellis Island in New York, Cuba and cultural sites in ruins across Europe. The exhibition includes the sound installation 'Ancoats Stories' and 'Definitely no rubbish here', finds from the mills 2003-2010.
The Peeps, Ancoats: The presence of absence. The book of the Peeps and the Cutting Room , published Manchester University Press is offered at a special discount during the 'Walk on the Wild Side' weekend.* Buy The Peeps for £15 (save £10 on rrp)* Only valid at Ice Plant, 39 Blossom Street, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6AP. 30 June – 3rd July 2011
'Wastelands' Free Exhibition 'Definitely no rubbish here' An exhibition and book launch at the Ice Plant, Ancoats, Manchester Exhibition open from 1-3 July, 10.00-20.00, closes 18.00 Sunday
'A Walk on the Wildside' 1-3 July Free Walks starting from Piccadilly Gardens last one hour, approximately 1.5 miles. Friday 1 July 10.00, 13.00, 16.00, 19.00. Saturday 2 July 10.00, 13.00, 16.00, 19.00. Sunday 3 July 10.00, 13.00, 16.00. No booking necessary. Just turn up at Piccadilly Gardens at the Queen Victoria sculpture. Or come directly to The Cutting Room Square in front of the Ice Plant exhibition 20 minutes after the tour begins in the city centre and join the tour from there.