OUR TOWN

An exhibition celebrating Wigan's cultural heritage, with photography by Martin Holden

OUR TOWN

Wigan is a with a strong sense of cultural identity. The town’s position between the two major northern metropoli of Liverpool and Manchester means it can be overlooked in discussions about northern culture and identity. This exhibition celebrates what it means to be from the town that brought the world Wigan Casino, Theodore Major, Gandalf and The Verve. We’ve come a long way from Orwell’s cinder paths and slag heaps, and a new generation is celebrating Wigan’s heritage and culture.

Wigan has inspired generations of artists with its red brick buildings, industrial heritage, mineworks, canals, flashes and of course, people. This celebration of Wigan’s cultural heritage is not an exhaustive list of all the art and artists ever to emerge from our beautiful borough, but rather a collection of our most iconic figures and artworks. It also includes artists and writers born beyond the boundaries of our beautiful borough, but inspired by our landscape and residents to create art of national and international significance.

EXPLORE

Click on the buttons below to begin exploring 

 

VISUAL ARTISTS

Wigans industrial landscapes, our green spaces and public spaces, our buildings and our streets, influenced two of the most significant artists of the 20th century. Both were woefully unrecognised in their lifetimes, but their work is now achieving national and international recognition.

 
 

MUSIC

Wigan has played a role in shaping the music scene from the 1920’s to the noughties. Thrillseekers from all over the country descended on the Wigan Casino for its legendary all nighters, it’s sweaty dancefloor acrobatics and it’s hardcore Northern Soul DJ’s. In the 80’s a new generation of music lovers sought out the Bounce and Donk beats throbbing out of the legendary and much missed nightclub, The Pier.  

LITERATURE AND THEATRE

Wigan has both inspired literature and theatre as well as paid host to some brilliant advocates for culture in their early years. All with different experiences, the individuals in this section are representative of the talent that has come out of the borough. 

 
 

PUBLIC ARTWORKS

Our town centre is packed with inspiring, thought provoking and sometimes surprising art works. Some of them commemorate people and places from the past, others pay homage to our industrial history, and others capture the simple joy of being a Wiganer.

All images are by Martin Holden

ACTIVITIES

We've put together some activities you can do inspired by our exhibition. More will be added over the coming weeks!

MAKE A CARDBOARD CITY

EXPLORE STREET ART THEN DESIGN SOME OF YOUR OWN

We'll add new activities here in the upcoming weeks so make sure to visit again!

If you join in don't forget to tag us

@wiganSTEAM

#creativewiganandleigh #makeitdigital