The Penthouse

We welcome The Penthouse!

The Penthouse, An artist led Dyke|Queer contemporary art project and space based in Manchester founded and ran by artists Rosanne Robertson and Debbie Sharp.

Our curatorial and research projects are focused on Queer art, radical practices, Queer feminism, experimental and raw art- we consider the power at the margins. The Penthouse is named after its first home on top floor of a tower block and as a political statement subverting the idea of art as a luxury commodity within a capitalist patriarchal system in which people are marginalised based on gender, sexuality, race, class and ability. We consider an ‘Other’ power which tackles elitism and dominant structures by the very nature of exploring self, the personal and the human in an unflinching way.

The Penthouse is now based at Paradise Works in a luxurious corner suite- a fitting
home on the border of Salford and Manchester.


The Penthouse are part of International Queer Art Collective Balaclava Q presenting upcoming event HIVideo on World Aids Day 1 Dec.


The Penthouse Present HIVideo by Balaclava.Q
1 December 2017 at 19:00–22:30
Paradise Works, Salford

Donation entry: £2 to George House Trust.
(entry to both HIVideo & Visual Aids screenings).
Tickets free from Eventbrite for double screening (booking essential).

*Please note this event is adult only.

Dress warmly
Access via stairs only

This event is included in Manchester’s first Day With(out) Art programme from Superbia.

Further Information:

HIVideo is A Global Exhibition of Video Art for World Aids Day. HIVideo is the moving image strand of Balaclava.Q- an international Queer Art Project and collective, better known as TACTIC 2. HIVideo seeks to promote contemporary dialogue(s) on World Aids Day via video art from both a local and global perspective. HIVideo complements current discourse and the de- stigmatization / -criminalization movement by creating dialogue about HIV/AIDS via art – and the attendant aesthetics and politics.

In 2016 HIVideo was screened at Manchester’s LGBT Foundation and worldwide across Toronto (Canada), Paris (France), South Africa, Puerto Rico, New Mexico and Oakland (California, US) in galleries, safe spaces and sexual health centres. In 2017 The Penthouse present HIVideo at their home Paradise Works on the Manchester > Salford border.

HIVideo brings together international artists and venues across 5 continents to showcase art films which look at HIV/AIDS with the intention of a more direct action approach with a specific theme for artists. Films will be screened on World AIDS Day in Rome, (Italy), Manchester (UK), London (UK), Berlin (Germany), New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Colombia and various other locations across the UK, USA and Europe.

The artist films create awareness and promote discourse specifically about the Prevention Access Campaign, a global movement which seeks to educate communities on current findings and statistics which state unequivocally that Undetectable = Untransmissable or U=U as it has been branded by At the very core of this year’s screening is a message about intimacy without fear of transmission.

This screening is programmed back to back with Visual Aids- a program of newly commissioned videos by Mykki Blanco, Cheryl Dunye & Ellen Spiro, Reina Gossett, Thomas Allen Harris, Kia Labeija, Tiona Nekkia McClodden and Brontez Purnell titled ALTERNATE ENDINGS, RADICAL BEGINNINGS is the 28th annual iteration of Visual AIDS’ longstanding Day With(out) Art project. Curated by Erin Christovale and Vivian Crockett. This event is part of Manchester’s first Day With(out) Art programme from Superbia.

Schools of Change

Taking place: Thursday 30th November 2017

Schools of Change is a night of performative film and video hosted by Paradise Works as an opener to the Artist Film Weekender at HOME

Each of the artists showing this evening playfully utilise and embody performance within their practice and embrace the potential for performance to instigate change.
Programmed by Chris Paul Daniels and Jenny Baines.


Jennet ThomasSchool of Change (2012), is a Sci-Fi musical film. We witness one day in the life of a school where students’ learning is bio-technically monitored through an ingested device, and high-scoring pupils perform their learning through a rhythmic action practice that produces little white spheres – called Units of Knowing – the currency through which this reality functions.

Laura HindmarshSelf-Registration (2015), an act of self-alignment using hand contact printing, and will also perform a new work deriving from Michael Snow’s La Région Centrale (1971).

Bea HautDefenestration (2015) combines film and domestic structures, reaching out beyond the frame, testing out access and escape, aperture and portal. Pending (2016) is a 16mm film performance using a 100ft length of film formed into a ‘living loop’ by the audience, before being taken up and played out by the projector. This interlacing creates a sympathetic film, which conjoins the audience, the artist and the subject in an act of duration and suspension.

Tariq EmamT.B.M. Reloaded (2017), is a live, site-responsive performance whereby tape noise will not be the only noise, and will feature R.L. Wilson and Guillaume Dujat: exploring recuperation of forlorn demons. The kind you find in charity shops, or wasting precious space in precious homes. The kind of space that could be used for a little bit of paradise. But what if it already was?

Thursday 30th November 2017
Entry price: £4.00 full / £3.00 conc, buy here:
18:00 for a 18:30 start

Complimentary supper provided
Dress Warmly
Access via stairs only



Preview: Friday 27 October, 5:00 - 9:00pm

Saturday 28 October, 10:00am - 6:00pm
Sunday 29 October, 10:00am - 5:00pm

To coincide with the Launch Weekend, Paradise Works is pleased to showcase selected works from the groups inaugural exhibition, Politics of Paradise. Works by studio artists James Ackerley, William Hughes, Precious Innes, Hilary Jack, Kieran Leach, Jo McGonigal, Robin Megannity, Richard Shields, Cherry Tenneson and Claire Tindale explore the utopian ideals that underpin the groups identity and recent formation on the Salford and Manchester border. The Manchester Contemporary showcase serves as a taster of the group’s extended Politics of Paradise exhibition and open studios across the weekend of The Manchester Contemporary.



Saturday 28 October - Sunday 5 November

Sexy Boy Unites Salford is a pot-luck style group show of new work by current members of After School Club (ASC).

ASC is a rolling programme of artist-led activity focused on generating opportunities for artists based in Salford and Manchester. ASC will host exhibitions, projects and residencies facilitated and ran by the group's 'member/contributors'. Members are primarily artists, and as such are neither obliged to take on specific roles or hierarchical positions within the club. Instead they are encouraged to use ASC as a platform to explore their own artistic/curatorial interests, with a focus on self-organisation, pedagogy and mutual growth. ASC is based at Paradise Works Artist's Studios.

Join the Facebook Events Page.

ASC is kindly supported using public funding by Arts Council England

We Are Here!


In 2016 I programmed three exhibitions to mark Rogue Artists' Studios final year at Crusader Mill which explored the grade 2 listed building and the post-industrial landscape that Rogue were soon to leave behind. This gave plenty of pause for thought on the value and place for artists in Manchester, leading to a number of animated conversations with artist Hilary Jack about a potential lead for new studio space on the edge of Manchester and Salford. So, along with artists Richard Shields, Michael Branthwaite and a few other interested folks, we went to investigate a light industrial building besides the River Irwell on a cold afternoon in December.

As the space was being used for storage it was difficult to gauge how best to use the space but we loved the building and location, and were determined to join the cultural hub that's establishing in Salford. Since collecting the keys in March, we've drawn together a membership through this continuing dialogue about the presence of artists in the city and ensuring that artistic production is accessible to the people who visit and live within it. In April we were delighted to be receive Arts Council England support for the studio build and to enable us to run our first artist residency with Salford based artist Michelle Shields, whose research and site responsive work will help us understand the area we've just moved into.

In May we were offered an extra 6,000 square foot of space on the building’s first floor which took our membership up to 29 artists and has enabled us to make ambitious plans for an exhibition and screening space. We have a waiting list already and have more plans beyond all this too, but we're learning to walk before we can run. We’ve come up against some serious challenges, it’s been a complex process and a steep learning curve but we've made some fantastic contacts along the way. Paradise Works has come together out of generosity and the unshakable belief that this needs to happen.

The new artist community at Paradise Works have given up their time to carry in lorry loads of MDF board, do numerous tip runs and tidy up, and our tech team have done an outstanding job building the studios. Hilary and I are incredibly grateful that people came on-board with us, shared risks and gave their time so freely because this couldn't have happened without them. The studios are now fully populated and it is bloody brilliant to be able to now come into the studios and be part of a proactive community of artists making work in the heart of the city. We can't wait to share our new work space so make sure you put our launch events over 27-29 October in your diary and follow us on all the usual channels for news when we have it.

Lucy Harvey, Co Director at Paradise Works.