Collaborative Self Portrait (Mark and Jayne), 2016, digital image, size variable, creative workshop led by Cristina Nuñez for a PORe and Manchester School of Art project: Wonderland: The Art of Being Human. Courtesy the artist.
Sutapa Biswas, Out of Place and At The Margins, 2017, installation view, Rochdale Bus Station
Top Image: David Hoyle, Apple and Other Fruits, 2017, performance, Home, Manchester. Photo Leigh Baxter
PORe is one of only 45 organisations nationally to be accepted onto the two year Elevate programme, which aims to improve the resilience of organisations, making a significant contribution to the Art’s Council’s Creative Case for Diversity. A £4.3m pot of National Lottery funding will be shared amongst the successful organisations.
PORe’s Elevate project, K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Stupid) strengthens the resilience of PORe by development of a new strategic business plan, recruitment of a consultant and securing paid staff including two new staff members. K.I.S.S. increases the organisations capacity, diversifies fundraising, supports business development and board development, and puts in place new digital resources. It also builds upon PORe’s strategic partnerships.
Founded in 2011 on the lived experience of recovery activist, curator and director Mark Prest.
PORe commissions artists to develop new work in a range of art forms that give voice, and authenticity to re-frame perceptions of people and their communities in recovery from substance use.
Internationally acclaimed PORe has commissioned a range of award winning artworks including:
- My Recoverist Family, featuring performance artist David Hoyle (named second best LGBTQ+ film, ReelHeART Film Festival Toronto 2018).
- Sutapa Biswas, Out of Place and At The Margins, 2017 for Rochdale Bus Station (artist and participants interviewed by Radio 4 Woman's Hour and BBC Asian Network); The work is now in the Touchstones, Rochdale permanent collection.
- The film Wonderland, 2016, directed by Amanda Ravetz, a PORe partnership with the Manchester School of Art and recoverist groups and communities, which won an Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Research in Film Award.
- Melanie Manchot's video installation TWELVE, exhibited across England (2015-16), and highly regarded in critical reviews across a range of international media.
Mark Prest said: “PORe is an internationally award-winning visual arts commissioning agency, founded on my background in the arts and the resilience of my own lived experience. PORe views recovery as a process of transformation, and visual artists as a critical resource in providing a platform for voice, choice and control over self-representation for people and their communities in recovery. Just over a decade ago, my own recovery journey was the impetus behind the work and for founding the organisation.
"PORe aims to use the arts as a cultural platform for the emancipation of those in recovery. PORe views people and communities in recovery as social assets with newly responsible ways of living – free from substance and self-harming behaviours. Recovering people offer society much to be learned. Engaging with the arts plays a critical role in supporting people in recovery to reinvent themselves and find a new place in the world. I’d like to thank all the artists we have commissioned, and all the participants and their communities who’ve taken part in our work. They are the most important elements of what we do. None of this would have been possible without the continuing love, support and companionship of my dog, Izzy.”
Abid Hussain, Director of diversity, Arts Council England, said: “Supporting and nurturing diverse talent is a crucial priority for the Arts Council; through Elevate we are investing in an exciting pipeline of diverse organisations that make a vital contribution to the country’s cultural provision, empowering under-represented voices. I’m particularly pleased to note the increased scale of our Elevate funding, which demonstrates our continued ambition to create a more inclusive cultural sector which produces work relevant to people from all communities and backgrounds.”
Alistair Hudson, Director of the Whitworth and Manchester Art Gallery said: “Portraits of Recovery are such an important organisation that makes visible experiences and processes of care with real resonance in our current climate and its many societal challenges. PORe perfectly aligns with the Whitworth’s health programmes and our mission to use art in social change processes with very real tangible benefits. Central to this is our shared belief that the culture of curation is ultimately a culture of care, not just about the care and consideration of objects, but more importantly to the care of others and ourselves”.
Dave Moutrey, Director and CEO of HOME, Manchester, and cultural lead for Manchester City Council, said:“Portraits of Recovery is a positive and vital force making exciting work and platforming unheard voices. I am delighted to be helping director Mark Prest on his journey through mentoring and advice.”
David Gaffney, Senior Relationship Manager, Diversity & North, Arts Council England, said: It’s fantastic to see a number of organisations in Greater Manchester awarded funding from our Elevate programme, which aims to support and develop the infrastructure for diversity-led organisations. I am particularly excited about the fact that our recipients create work and opportunities for a range of under-represented voices, from Disabilities to LGBT to BME including STUN, Portraits of Recovery, Triple C and Northern Lines. It is fundamental that we continue to support the arts and cultural sector in diversifying its output so that they can represent more communities across the North and England as a whole.