Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Primitive Streak at Manchester Science Festival

Today saw the installation of Primitive Streak for the upcoming Manchester Science Festival.

It was only four months ago I met with the people behind Manchester Weekender and said I had seen some fantastic installations by an artist called Helen Storey at Newcastle Science Festival – I wanted to get Helen to show some pieces in Manchester during the Festival and the Weekender. The Weekender team (Alex!) loved the idea. After a very quick response “Yes!” from Helen Storey and Caroline from the Helen Storey Foundation, the next few days were a blur as we frantically picked up the phone and sent emails to venues around Manchester... we wanted to bring a science inspired fashion collection to Manchester. With the help of city co, we were rushing round the city checking out shops, industrial style spaces, empty retail units and theatres. Debenhams and the Royal Exchange Theatre were instantly excited by the idea and were keen to support us. It was decided to bring seven pieces from the Primitive Streak collection and install them across both venues.

Manchester is such a fantastic place to run a science festival – organisations, scientists, the public are so supportive and open to new ideas, and really come together to make projects like this happen.

Helen carefully selected pieces from the collection to display, which tell the story of the first 1000 hours of human life. Beginning with the Sperm Coat, at conception, each piece is so detailed reflecting different stages of foetus development. They are beautiful creations, accompanied by panels explaining the science behind each one.

After a few months of hard work from the team at the Helen Storey Foundation, Debenhams and Royal Exchange Theatre, the capsule collection was installed today. There are four dresses and a hat at Debenhams Manchester main window, and two dresses in the Royal Exchange Theatre. There is also an exhibition of photos and sketches from the project accompanying the dresses in the Royal Exchange.

The collection looks absolutely fantastic in both venues, and the dresses take on a different personality in each. You have the fast-paced, high street of Debenhams and the calm, grand space of the Royal Exchange. It really brings science to life in a unique and innovative way. Primitive Streak collection was first created to 15 years ago, but looks relevant, cutting-edge and hot off the catwalk. It’s timeless. As well as viewing the installation you can join Helen at an In conversation event at the Royal Exchange Theatre on Sunday 30 October. It's free, but you're advised to book in advance.

This installation is a must-see at the Festival. You can see it from today until Sunday 30 October. Make sure you stop by Debenhams and Royal Exchange Theatre to see the pieces, have a read of the project background and explore the science. I hope you will be as inspired as I was by this amazing collection.

Natalie, Manchester Science Festival Director

See some photos from the install below.

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