Unusual arts centre floats into Mirfield

Founders and caretakers of idle women Rachel Anderson and Cis OBoyle
Founders and caretakers of idle women Rachel Anderson and Cis OBoyle

To celebrate International Women’s Day a floating arts centre will be launched in Mirfield.

This is the second year of idle women’s contemporary art programme and after spending time in East Lancashire the centre, known as the Selina Cooper, is now in Shepley Bridge.

The narrow boat, which is used as an arts space, will host participatory artist and creative producer Nicky Bashall and theatre-maker Stella Barnes during its time in Mirfield.

‘Water’s Meeting’ is idle women’s fifth phase of residencies in the north of England, and features a programme of workshops and social gatherings in partnership with Creative Scene, an arts commissioning and producing project based here in West Yorkshire, and local women’s organisations.

idle women is an organisation that creates a place for women to belong through art.

It was founded in 2015 by Rachel Anderson and Cis O’Boyle and last year they launched the Selina Cooper in East Lancashire.

From June to August, women will be able to stay on board the Selina Cooper and enjoy some personal creative space in exchange for offering a skill or workshop for local women.

Rachel and Cis, the caretakers of idle women, said: “Spring is a great time to be on the canal and it feels in keeping with the season to be making new friends and building relationships.

“We’re delighted by the amount of interest from women’s groups and organisations in the area and will do our best to make women feel welcome aboard the Selina Cooper.

“We’re looking forward to working with Creative Scene and being part of the dynamic programme they have established with local communities.”

In Autumn the floating arts centre will move from West Yorkshire to St Helen’s for a new project.