Last Chance to See The Fire Within Exhibition

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the fire within

A thought-provoking art and culture exhibition in Wigan Borough will reopen for two weeks for visitors to experience. 

Wigan Council has announced that the current installation, ‘Love is a Rebellious Bird’, will re-open its doors on 30 July for two final weeks, before the displays are taken down for good. The local authority, alongside curators Al and Al and the borough’s artists, will then work collaboratively on a new exhibition, which will be unveiled in September.

Love is a Rebellious Bird is the second installation showcased at the innovative space in The Galleries since the borough’s cultural manifesto, The Fire Within, was launched in May 2019. Since then, the council focused its borough-wide cultural work on ‘Wigan’s Future Artists’ by engaging with local schools and communities in a bid to make arts and culture accessible to all.

In May 2020, The Fire Within was due to head into its second year with the theme ‘Digital Wigan’.

Councillor Chris Ready, cabinet member for communities and culture at Wigan Council said: “Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic brought our great plans for a second-year programme of work to a pause. However, in line with national guidance and following risk assessments, we’re now in a position to provide visitors with one final opportunity to experience the current exhibition before we re-launch in September. There will be social distancing signage and hand sanitising stations available to use, with a reduced number of visitors allowed in the spaces at any one time.

“Culture is a key driver in social inclusion, economic growth and health and wellbeing, which is why the work we’re delivering as part of The Fire Within is so vital as we look to recover from Covid-19. We’re working closely with our cultural partners and local organisations to put together a fantastic new exhibition, which will look at the impacts technology has had on the arts.”

Since lockdown restrictions came into force in March 2020, the borough’s cultural organisations, such as The Turnpike, WigLe Dance, The Old Courts and Leigh Film Society have been creative in how they deliver their work to keep people engaged

Coun Ready added: “I’d like to pay tribute and say thank you to all of our groups, artists and cultural organisations for adapting as best as possible and striving to continue to deliver their sessions for the people of our borough.

“Although this has been a very unsettling time for everybody, we’ve truly realised the power that technology and digital can have on people’s lives, and that is what we will explore during our second year.”

The new installation will run from September to January 2021 and will be called ‘We Will Always Be Together’. It will be complimented by a variety of online material, which will be showcased on The Fire Within website.

The announcement comes shortly after the local authority launched its Covid-19 support fund to help creative practitioners adversely affected by the virus. Freelance artists based in the borough can apply for a share of £30,000 to help them financially as they look to the future.

For more information about the fund, visit

The Fire Within will reopen on 30 July, 11am-3pm, Thursday-Saturday.