Friday, 8 July 2011

We are extInked launches at Manchester Museum tonight!

Come and join us this evening as we celebrate the launch of We are extInked at the Manchester Museum.

This exhibition documents extInked, a unique arts and ecology project which began in 2009 as a response to species loss in the UK.

We are extInked brings together the original pen and ink drawings, documentary footage of the tattooing process and extraordinary photographic portraits of the ambassadors created on a rare 19th century camera by Anatomy Projects. The work will be shown alongside rare specimens from The Manchester Museum collections and documentation of the progress of the 100 volunteer ambassadors as they work to protect and advocate for their species.

The exhibition opens to the public on Saturday 9th


2011 and will be situated alongside the new 'Living Worlds' Gallery, which explores the connections between all living things, including us, and shows how we can all shape the future by the choices we make.

We are extInked launch:

Friday 8th July 2011

6.00 - 8.00pm

(Speeches at 6.30pm)

The Manchester Museum

The University of Manchester

Oxford Road


M13 9PL

For more information on how to get to the museum please click here.

For more information about the extInked project and the We are extInked tour please click here.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Bread Baking at Mill

Jai recently gave a bread making workshop at Islington Mill Salford as part of the event The Doers, The Drifters & The Dreamers. Working in the former cotton mill participants made Challah a traditional jewish bread made up off a series of knotts and dusted with poppy seeds - yum!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Design and Media Lab postgraduate shows

Last Thursday saw the opening of the Design and Media LAB postgraduate shows at Hotspur House. With the Fourth Floor cleared and cleaned, the once condemmed space was completely transformed into a unique exhibition venue. The students exhibited a range of work, from graphic prints to large scale film installation, showcasing the diversity of projects undertaken on the MA course. We hope that the exhibition marks the start of a contuining relationship with the Design Lab and is the first of many events to be held in the newly rennovated space.

* photos by Alex Bown

Thursday, 7 October 2010

UHC hosts the MA Design Show

We are very excited to be hosting the 2010 Design LAB and Media LAB postgraduate shows. Students from the MA Design, Filmmaking, Photography and Media Arts courses at Manchester Metropolitan University will be showing work at Hotspur House between 14-17 October. The private view is between 4-8pm on Thursday 14 October.

The show has been curated and produced with the support of UHC, Hotspur House and Jai Redman. It will be the first time the public has been allowed access to the top floors of the building in nearly 10 years and it marks a watershed in our project to create a permanent collaborative design studio in the space.

More info on the show can be found here:

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

EVA Lisbon

Jai, UHC's creative director, was recently invited to speak at a conference in Lisbon. The conference marked the culmination of a series of successful experimental socially engaged art projects in 7 different challenging neighbourhoods in the city. The series of projects took place under the title of EVA and marked an important change in direction for art in the city, where experimental collaborative practice is still seen as rare.

Jai spoke about projects UHC have undertaken in the UK introducing a range of socially engaged work to the conference audience. Eva Merz
from the New Social Art School also gave a talk about her work and in return her and Jai learnt about the issues facing artists working with poor communities in Lisbon.

The conference was hosted by the National Immigration Centre on 23rd Sept 2010. It was introduced by Pedro Calado, representing the City's cultural department who were partners in EVA and Paulo Gouveia from the Clube Português de Artes e Ideias who's amazing studio managed the residencies.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

A-N for Lunch

UHC recently hosted a lunch for A-N members and staff during their visit to Manchester. Having been to Castlefield gallery and on route to Rogue Studios and Cornerhouse, the group stopped off at UHC for some freshly made lunch. With all of the studio helping out we laid on a feast of paella, homemade bread and vegan cup cakes.

Eating on the fourth floor marked the beginning of our plans to transform the space into a regular site for events, discussions and artist’s use. With the lunch going down smoothly chatting with members of A-N about our plans, we got excited about the development of hotspur house and UHC’s future projects.

As part of our development of the fourth floor we will be hosting a series of Reading Groups in the space discussing the themes explored in EXAM, continuing our development of the project and hopefully sparking some lively debates! The first Reading Group will be held on the 29th of September from 6pm-8pm - more information will be added to the project website soon -

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Futures North looks beyond the "Big Society"

Last week we took part in the Futures North Conference in Leeds, where we met with other Co-operatives to discuss and learn about setting new directions on education, economy, energy, technology and transition.
There was a choice of interactive workshops, insightful speakers, and practical learning whilst having the opportunity to speak to other exhibitors.

The Futures North Conference aimed to "Look beyond the Big Society”, bringing together some of the key people and the ideas that offer practical solutions enabling communities to tackle today’s problems, and create a greener, fairer and more sustainable future."

We took part in an inspirational workshop by Make It Happen Consultancy, who are leaders in social change and aim to challenge and change the traditional business model to one where social and ethical values are embedded in the way that business is conducted. They talked about how to create impact, growth and value using 4 key elements from their business model, including profit, ethics, people and impact.

The event was a great way to meet with other co-ops, discuss our role as a design studio and show how our services can benefit the needs of clients from all backgrounds. Sourcing 'ethical' design can be difficult and although not perfect, we are committed to providing a service that challenges the norms of the design industry and aims to achieve more for society as a whole.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Changes afoot

Our Studio at UHC is going through some major re-developments; a general move around provoked us into totally rethinking the way we work and the atmosphere we work in.

In the recent weeks we have decided to refurbish our kitchen - moving it to a more suitable and practical space, and to create a new working environment for the Design Studio. This development of the working space is well beyond necessary, and it comes at a time when a little encouragement and change is needed to stimulate the atmosphere of the studio for all those who work here.

Simon has proposed a new location for the kitchen and we will be documenting the stages of the re-development, showing in all its glory the hidden treasures of the Hotspur House, the mess we create and the relief when we finally have running water from a tap!

Like everything that UHC do - we are trying to make our work space more sustainable, longer lasting and efficient; by recycling different materials for the re-build we are contributing to the future of what UHC can provide for artists, designers and the people who work here.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

It's GCSE results day!

Today sees teenagers across the country eagerly awaiting the delivery of their GCSE exam results. However, this year is a little different - there are also 89 excited individuals from all over the North West waiting for the postman to arrive. These 89 individuals made history back in May by sitting the first ever prototype exam paper on GCSE Level LGBT Studies and are now part of a small revolution within the current UK teaching curriculum.

An overview of all EXAM results is available online at a new website called EXAM PROJECT dedicated to EXAM and it's future manifestations. Take a look at the site to see how everyone did. We hope to add new documentation as the project expands over the coming months.

Everyone at
Ultimate Holding Company feels that EXAM was a huge success and only made possible through the participation of the candidates, thank you and congratulations to you all.

We are also excited to announce that we are going to be hosting a series of reading groups over the autumn months open to all EXAM candidates and their friends. The meetings will continue the themes and topics explored in the EXAM paper and will be a chance to discuss the different areas covered in the exam, as well as hear from guest speakers about LGBT history and culture. The first Reading Group will meet on Wednesday 29th Sept with a focus on Polari. Further details can be found below;

Date: Wednesday 29th Sept 2010
Time: 6pm - 8pm
Location: Hotspur House, 2 Gloucester Street, M1 5QR

For more information visit 
or call 0161 238 8523.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Class Portrait

Via the Creative Review Blog - The D&AD Best New Blood Winners 2010 were announced and although there were some particularly thought provoking and stimulating design pieces, what caught our attention was the somewhat controversial topic of child photography.

The project we liked most,
by Anna Brooks and Samantha Harvey entitled Class Portrait, looks at 'the ethical issues and paranoia surrounding the laws of photographing children' in a visually arresting series of images.

Student Details: