Victoria Baths is one of Manchester's absolute gems, a historic building full of social history, a fantastic events venue and a really popular visitor attraction. Sometimes we even have swimming here (our annual Swim for Restoration fundraiser). The building is partly restored and is run by a charitable trust. Loved by Mancunians and visitors to the city alike, it's impossible to imagine Manchester without Victoria Baths.
How will Covid-19 affect Victoria Baths?
Tours, events and filming bring in most of the income that keeps us afloat. We were just about to open our doors for the 2020 season and normally between spring and autumn the building is full of life. So the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, JUST as we're about to welcome our visitors, means we're facing a very challenging year ahead.
We’ve sadly had to postpone our arts and music festival SpringFest 2020 and cancel all our April guided building tours. We don’t know how long the crisis will continue or how many other events we’ll have to cancel or postpone. What we do know is that the impact on our cashflow is going to be huge.
How you can help
We're asking for help now please, in any way you can. If you don't have the money to give a donation, we understand - just send us a nice message, a hug or a wave on social media, share this page, keep in touch, make a date to visit when we're open again, tell your friends, or think positive thoughts about us.
Stay well and safe. We’ll really miss you all over the next month or so, it’s very quiet here on our own.
Love to you and yours from all the team at Victoria Baths xx
"Prints for a Pound" Reward
From L to R (Top): Cells by Aarti Pandey, Victoria Baths stained glass collage by Donna Wood, Gala Pool by Sophie Nixon
From L to R (middle): Pink Mesh with fluorescent sphere by Suzanne Bethell, pattern by Kevin Boardman.
From L to R (Bottom): Playtime 23.4.20 by Patrick O'Donnell and Medlock on Sea by Nan Collantine.
Seven Manchester-based artists who were due to exhibit their work at SpringFest on 26th April have come together to exhibit their work online as Dez Rez Projects in support of this crowdfunder. The artists have also donated a print each for donors who give £1 or more to this crowdfunder - images of the prints are above. Select "Print for a Pound" Reward and on the payment page you can choose your print - or select "Seven Prints for Seven Pounds" for all seven. Print/s will be emailed to you to download and print at home.
Limited Edition/Original Artwork Reward
Each artist has also donated one original or limited edition piece of work as a reward for a gift of £100 or more. One artwork will be added to this page each day from Friday 24th April.
The first is a limited edition signed print, ‘Aesthetic Consequences’ by Kevin Boardman. Kevin is an artist, educator and creative consultant. He has responding to the iconic tiles and bricks of Victoria Baths and how the build-up of these shapes forms complex structures and empowering spaces to function in a variety of ways. His work for this project work is taking root in his city centre apartment, making tiled interventions around his home:
Our second artwork (SOLD) is a limited edition signed print of ‘Free Movement’ installation by Patrick O’Donnell. Patrick is a multi-disciplined artist working in site intervention, sculpture and film. Currently involved in the Castlefield Gallery Bolder programme, Paddy has previously worked at Victoria Baths on a residency in 2019 and is using work that he produced and experimented as a starting point to produce new work in film and interventions:
The third artwork (SOLD) is a limited edition signed print of her painting ‘Gala Pool’ by Sophie Nixon. Sophie is a painter of urban Manchester, of architecture and quiet cityscapes. She has painted a series of oil paintings that describe her own visual response to Victoria Baths, to the beautiful light coming through the ceiling glass, the period details and the sense of solitude she felt in those empty upstairs rooms.
The fourth artwork (SOLD) as a Reward for donations of £100 or more is Reflection in stained glass II Oil on board 25x35cm by Donna Wood (signed by the artist). Donna is a filmmaker and painter who has produced films and paintings about Victoria Baths during a residency in 2019 and is now developing a series of new paintings that examine pattern and the decorative motifs used in the tiles and architecture of the baths.
Our fifth Reward artwork is Turquoise and Sand, by Suzanne Bethell, mixed media on canvas 30 x 30 x 4 (signed by the artist). Suzanne is a painter and printmaker and a finalist earlier this year in the inaugural open exhibition at Home, Manchester. Interested in the power of colour to affect mood and mind state, she has responded to the rich glazes of tiles, the deep greens and turquoises found within the Baths, producing a series of square tile-like canvases, this mixed media on canvas is one from Suzanne’s Victoria Baths series.
The sixth donated reward is by Aarti Pandey, ‘Echoes of Nautch (Dance)’ A3 Limited edition print. Aarti is a sculptor and has been experimenting with film due to the lockdown. This is a printed image from her film 'First Class Males' which sees images of Indian dancing girls superimposed onto digitally pixilated images of the baths.
Our final artwork reward (SOLD) is Bathing Boutiques by Nan Collantine, a screenprint collage mounted onto archival paper, 40x60cm. Much of Nan Collantine’s painting, printmaking and film responds to place, and her love of swimming pools, past and present count as her favourite subjects. Here that place is the old baths in the Roman spa town of Buxton, then called Aqua Arnemetiae. In 2019 Nan produced a series of paintings and screen prints about the light and the tiles of these former baths, light which is now bathing fancy goods boutiques.
Sincere thanks to all the artists - Aarti Pandey, Donna Wood, Kevin Boardman, Sophie Nixon, Nan Collantine, Patrick O'Donnell and Suzanne Bethell. To see their exhibition online visit @Dez_Rez_Projects page on Instagram or Eventbrite.
See a full list of Rewards on this page. These include Victoria Baths Friends memberships (for yourself or a friend or family member), a guided tour or several tour tickets (for when we re-open), tea towels, postcards and tote bags. Or you can just donate. Thank you.