The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Interview: Shereen Perera, Islington Mill

We caught up with Shereen Perera, Visual Arts Co-ordinator at Islington Mill, to talk about her work, the Mill and how she got there

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What exactly is a Visual Arts Co-ordinator? 

Being a Visual Arts Co-ordinator at the Mill involves facilitating and producing the Mill’s exhibition and residency programme working closely with Rivca Burns, Events Co-ordinator to curate a cohesive visual arts and music programme.

 Why do you think Islington Mill is an important and unique arts venue in Manchester? 

Walking through the door of Islington Mill is an interactive experience not just an event. Many people think of the Mill as a venue that puts on gigs and club nights, but we also are home to over 50 artist studios, a self-organised art school (Islington Mill Art Academy), an artist led B&B, and an ongoing residency programme working with artists locally, nationally and from around the globe.

 What did you do before you had this job – degree? Previous projects? 

I  studied Drama and English [BA] at University of Manchester. As well as working at Islington Mill I work part-time at the Royal Exchange Theatre and am part of music/film collective Video Jam who put on experimental nights of  short films with a variety of live musical/sonic accompaniment.

 What qualities do you think are important in someone hoping to work in a similar role to yours and do you have any advice? 

Being entirely committed to the work of the artist whose residency/exhibition you are facilitating, building a relationship with the artists and forming lasting collaborative friendships. Never being too afraid to execute your own ideas no matter how crazy or mad they might be. Being a risk-taker, somethings work, somethings don’t, but I’m lucky enough to work in creative environment that encourages ‘trying things out’ and it’s ok if you do fail.

WIN TICKETS! Mancunion Arts have collaborated with Sounds from the Other City to offer a two pairs of tickets to SFTOC exclusively to Mancunion readers! Sounds from the Other City returns to Chapel Street this May Day Bank Holiday, and with a line up featuring the likes of Divorce, Parenthetical Girls, Queer’d Science and Sea Pinks, this isn’t one to miss. To win, email arts.mancunion@gmail.com telling us which of these Manchester luminaries is still alive:

A) Anthony Burgess

B) Emmeline Pankhurst

C) Howard Jacobsen

Sounds from the Other City 2012

Sounds from the Other City 2013

2 people will be chosen at random from all correct entries. Deadline: Thursday 2nd May