Pop-Up Gallery - 18 Long Wyre Street, Colchester CO1 1LJ

Located in Colchester's Cultural Quarter, The Minories has been in the hands of the Victor Batte-Lay Foundation, since 1956. Gifted with a collection of artworks from the late Clarence Victor Batte-Lay, the Foundation and the collection have grown and adapted throughout the years to showcase a variety of works from local artists. We are currently working out of a temporary pop-up space in the old Holland & Barrett unit in the town centre as we aim to continue embracing the creativity of the town and the communities within it.

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Join us for a day of connecting through art and crafts!

Full details of all bookable events on Eventbrite or follow the links below. 

This event is linked to the touring exhibition We are Commoners.

Join us for a day of commoning through craft. Share resources, ideas and learning; find creative ways to build local meaningful connections through art and crafts, and explore the reclaiming of local spaces to help our community thrive.

A mix of online and in person activities including workshops, exhibition tours and talks.

Day of Commoning: Events

Saturday 26th November

Marketplace. Long Wyre Street. All Day.
A marketplace of Colchester organisations including Bridgeway, African Families in the UK, Eco Colchester, Colchester Food Co-op, Community 360, Level Best, British Origami Society and Community Energy Colchester. Come along to hear more about their work and take part in free activities.

Blue Fashion Commons. Gallery. Drop-in activity, 10am-12pm.
Activate the Blue Fashion Commons by bringing along blue items of clothing to exchange or repair with members of Stitch & Bitch Colchester on hand to support you. Experiment with folk motifs in chain stitch, with a chance to rethink how we value clothing by sharing the skills required to alter or adapt existing items.

Mapping Your Local Commons. Long Wyre Street. Drop-in activity, 11am-4pm.
A communal activity to map the commons in our local area, exploring spaces and resources that anyone can use. We want to record the green spaces, footpaths, community gardens, playgrounds, community centres / hubs, foodbanks, libraries, repair cafes, places of sanctuary / worship as well as craft / heritage / nature / sport groups.

Exhibition Tour & Talk. Gallery. Drop-in activity, 10am, Bookable 2pm.
A tour of We are Commoners with one of the Craftspace curators. A BSL interpreter will be available. (1 hour)

Craft in Common: Stitch Workshop. Online and in-person. Bookable, 12.30-1.30pm.
Join artist Alinah Azadeh to stitch a message to reach out to people in your community, connect with them and counter feelings of isolation and loneliness. Your message could be about a cause or words to encourage community spirit, collaboration and togetherness. Taking inspiration from craftivism – a term used to describe the combining of craft and activism – make one for yourself, gift one to someone else or display it in a public space as an act of emotional unity. A BSL interpreter will be available.

Performance: Common Agency Projects. Community 360. 11.30am (with BSL), 1.30pm, 3pm.
Common Agency Projects will be performing their Commoning Action #15. Join them in Community 360’s Greenwood space to explore claiming space for meeting and interaction. (1 hour)
The performance at 11.30am will have a BSL interpreter available.

Artist Talk: Freddie Robins. Gallery. Bookable, 3pm
A talk by We Are Commoners artist and Colchester’s Blackwater Polytechnic Collective member, Freddie Robins. A BSL interpreter will be available.

Image: The Blackwater Polytechnic, Tree (detail). Photo: Dewi Tannatt Lloyd.



October 24 - December 3

A new exhibition shows how shared processes, skills and values associated with creative making contribute to thriving commons neighbourhoods.

This thought-provoking Craftspace national touring exhibition which highlights ‘acts of commoning’ is coming to the We are the Minories' pop-up gallery in Colchester on the final leg of its UK tour.

Featuring both UK based and international artists, the exhibition reflects a commons-based shift in thinking from ‘you’re on your own’ to ‘we’re in this together.’ 

Photo: LiseBjornLinnertAndGelaweshWaledkhani_Leaves-OsloWorkshop_PhotoGelaweshWaledkhani



Art for Everyone

The Faculty of Everyone is an open-access and targeted-session art school, in the spirit of the East Anglian School of Painting & Drawing that evolved from Benton End in the first half of the 20th Century. 

We are facilitating community-led and participant-designed creative projects, which use art, gardening or food, so community groups, artists, gardeners, teachers, makers - indeed, everyone - please tell us:

What kind of art would you like to see and do? 
When can you be involved? 
How can we help?

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After Dark Storytelling

With Gemma Garwood:

I invite you on this workshop to come and take a trip, as the crow flies, taking up some space to explore some of the ways of presenting and telling that a Neurodivergent, daydreaming, creative Magpie spins into pieces of work.

I always start by doing something. Usually that something is walking. So I’m going to take you on a little walk today just to share some stories and see what ones you might find for yourself. Then we will come back into the warm, and make zines together so that you have a space to hold those stories.

Dates TBA