Past Events

Too Much
Rosanne Robertson

Open studio & performances.
29 Apr- 8 May
*Preview/VIP- Friday 29 April 6-9pm*

(Open both Fridays 6-9pm with scheduled performance & both Saturday- Sundays 12-6pm)

Too Much is a research and development project by artist Rosanne Robertson focusing on mental health, the modern condition of anxiety and the personal in contemporary art resulting in the development of newly exhibited assemblage, sculpture, performance, drawing and sound art work.

The project Too Much takes its title from a quote by Carolee Schneemann who wrote:

“Our best development grows from works which initially strike us as “too much”…Because my sex and work were harmoniously experienced I could have the audacity, or courage, to show the body as a source of varying emotive power”.

Too Much has developed throughout a period of studio based experimentation and research into uses and examples of anxiety and the personal in art via key movements including feminist art, ‘outsider’ art and Dadaism. Performance, extensions of the body and the personal in relationship with objects and sculpture has been a main concern- exploring the idea of performance sculpture or event sculpture as a site for expression vs form and spontaenity vs control.

Assemblage, sculpture & performance, collage, improvisation, ritual, sound making and automatic drawing have been a focus in material terms as well as when selecting key artists and movements to research including the radical black artists of the 70′s LA avant-garde scene including Senga Nengudi and Barbara McCullough. Women in Dada and the use of assemblage and found objects in relation to performance and embodiment including Baroness Elsa, Suzanne Duchamp and Hannah Hoch. Direct expression and improvisation has also been a focus- exploring the boundaries of male dominated fields of sound art and improvisation.

This project has involved a period of research at The Henry Moore Institute with the Helen Chadwick archive. Focusing on specific works such as Ego Geometria Sum & Domestic Sanitation and the relationship between the autobiographical and the personal via the body<>object<>performance dynamic.

Too Much has developed into a number of strands and series’ of works including:

Hit On (2015) Circular glass, lead, sandpaper, metal thread, ink, hair.

-made during and of heightened emotional states and periods of mania- over activity comes up against boundaries and restraints of form.

Idealism (2015-16) Ink on paper.

-a numbered series of works depicting masses of bodily features drawn in an automatic state from memory, physical feelings and heightened emotional states bringing into question the relationship between the mind and the body and links between mental and physical health.

Appendage & Bond (2016) Sculpture and performance (found metal, cotton, nylon, hair, skin, flesh, bone, plastic).

-a sculptural work activated and reworked by the body in performance with a minimalist set of sound making. Combining materials and sculptural arrangements that depict raw and open parts of the body- clothed and unclothed- this work magnifies abstracted bodily sections as if to look for the small intricate fear hidden within small spaces of the body- to sublimate the discord of the past.

Some of these works were recently exhibited with The Penthouse at Sluice__ at Oxo Tower Wharf, Southbank, London, performed at Zarata Festival (Madrid) and at WUR Bradford self publishing fair. Appendage & Bond was developed with the support of Instigate Arts and is to be performed at Wonder Women: What IS She Wearing at Manchester Art Gallery on 3 March. The project is supported by Arts Council England.

For further information keep updated via my website, mailing list, email me or follow me on twitter.

I am compiling parts of my research via this online journal

Rosanne Robertson:

“I would like to thank Arts Council England for their support of this project, this support has meant the development of a whole new body of work and series of opportunities. I would like to thank all those who supported the project via Indiegogo and also an anonymous contributor. I would like to thank Instigate Arts for their vision and support. I would like to thank those who have bought work from the project and invested in my practice. I would like to thank the Henry Moore Institute for their open support whilst carrying out my research.


Florian Fusco (Berlin/Vienna/Manchester)- residency special presenting new sound and video live project- Generic Wrongness. 

Florian is used his Noise Above Noise residency for some intense experimentation with his Random Appropriation Synth project as well some new sound to video automation experiments- resulting in the final live work being a responsive video projection.

Supported by: 

The In-Between State (sound art and performance project by Debbie Sharp). Action / Re Action. 

Legitimate Sculptures (Rosanne Robertson, Gary Fisher, Kate Armitage). Sound + Objects + Improv Trio. 


Gary Fisher joined us for a residency project- we were excited to welcome him back to The Penthouse following his completion of his very fruitful MA Sound Art at London Communication College- MA show curated by Electra Productions. 

Recent Projects include a 30 minute live experimental radio broadcast ‘The Inaugural Terminal Program’ in collaboration with artists Barry Dean and Gilda Manfring and aired on Resonance FM, London. Performing as part of ‘Sculpture’ in Allan Caprow: Yard, The Hepworth, Wakefield, ensemble improvisation and intervention, Sculpture series curated by David Toop and Rei NakajimaIn. In 2015 Gary was invited with other performers to play in a live composition with Christain Marclay and Thurston Moore at Marclay’s major exhibition at White Cube London. 

“Gary Fisher works with sound in a continuous process of experimentation and enquiry focussed around instinctive and investigatory responses to objects, actions, ideas words and places. Central to the work is the ongoing development of improvised playing, composing and recording practises, in both live and studio contexts, based around different approaches to sound making including combining analogue and digital, re-working technologies, home-made instruments and electronics and adapting or finding personal approaches to instruments and objects as materials to produce sounds.”


Has been specially invited to perform as part of Gary Fisher’s residency event particularly because of his influence on Gary’s artist practice which turned to a focus on sound arts during his BA at Salford University under Helmut Lemke’s teaching. 

Some words from Helmut: 

Imagine you have a plastic bottle….
You fill it with water and you hang it upside down….
You make a little hole in the cap…. 
and then you sit back,
you wait and you listen
- drips appear - they fall - they hit 
sounds …
inaudible when the water squeezes through the little hole …
imaginable when it falls …
audible when it hits 

Events like this drive Helmut Lemke’s curiosity. 
Since he started his journey into the world of sound more than 30 years ago, he investigated sounds that are around us, some are obvious, some are familiar, some have to be found… and he has performed and exhibited process based work responding to his investigations. His endeavour has taken him to concert halls and outdoor markets, to Galleries and Museums and to the frozen seas off Greenland, to Function Rooms of Pubs and to International Festivals. He has presented his work all over the globe, collaborating with other Sound Artists and Musicians, with Dancers and Scientists, Visual Artists and Architects, Poets and Archaeologists, Performance Artists and Wildlife Rangers. 

Helmut Lemke is still listening.


Joining us on the night was long time fellow artist and collaborator Matt Dalby with his solo sound project Tear Fet. 

In recent years he has concentrated solely on developing his voice, and beginning to explore extended techniques. Tear Fet draws on a range of influences from blues and folk music through to contemporary improvisation. Tear Fet can be found (among other places) at

His CD Underpath was released through Chocolate Monk in October 2014; his most recent collection is the self-released Islands : Wind, part of a year-long project called Islands.



Killing Time at The Pond

Laura-Jane Atkinson & Hildegard Skowasch 

Free For Arts Festival

3-10 October 2014

As part of Free For Arts Festival The Penthouse we welcomed Killing Time to The Pond.

The Pond

is an unusual small architectural spot of blue tiled wonder on the ground floor of the building home to The Penthouse (5th Floor) Hilton House. The Pond was an ornamental fish pond in the 60’s and then later an indoor garden. As time has gone its use has declined along with the upkeep of the fantastic building originally designed by architect Richard Seifert who also created such modernist delights as Center Point (London) and also Euston Station.  We aim to honour all of this with short bursts of  installation and intervention during our stay at Hilton House.

Killing Time 

After meeting as artists in residence, artist duo Killing Time (Hildegard Skowasch and Laura-Jane Atkinson) have continued collaborative practice through process led exchange & responsive creative takeover of works. Utilising an amalgamation of low value materials and palpable time consumption with an emphasis placed on intuition with materials, colour and pattern to transform specific spaces.

Killing Time at The Pond 

Was a constructed site specific exhibition in collaboration with The Penthouse . A series of large scale sculptural installations will be produced to intervene with and transform The Pond space at The Penthouse to create a temporary immersive environment in an unexpected location. This environment reflected unusual recordings within our direct surroundings and highly laborious tactile processes with low value, unforeseen materials and objects.

A Third Face

Friday 19th- Sunday 21st September 1-7pm.

A Third Face was an exhibition of drawings and paintings by artists/musicians Rosanne Robertson, Kate Armitage and Joincey. The exhibition expanded along the project space of artist led space The Penthouse. The exhibition contains long standing and recent relationships with impulsive mark making and a combined interest in repetition, accident and abstract forms.

Rosanne Robertson

I mean I think I enjoy painting them but they are gross to me- they are my smallest inside grossest feelings- like bits of things inside of things, things feeling too big, suppression- in sort of sunshiney colours.

Take a period of time and decide what is relevant during that time- a day or longer- but mainly a day for me as I lose the energy or feeling and never feel the same again. Like if I perform- everything that day comes in to play and has to tick. Today because I knew I was going to paint everything looked and sounded different- some things were glaring at me and some things weren’t.

My heart feels burst open and it feels like there are a million too many connections from there to my brain.

Kate Armitage

I enjoy drawing abstract forms instinctively and impulsively. I prize chance over direct intention. I believe in the unspoiled power of raw art.


sporadically I will attempt to entirely empty out black biros (always BIC) by the process of drawing black rectangles onto pieces of paper. I invariably seek to retain any successfully spent pens but at this time I count only eight in the drawer.


Performance series Noise Above Noise elevates Manchester’s underground scene to the fifth floor of a tower block - The Wire.

A brilliantly curated and visually stunning night of sound art and performance - Manchester Finest. 

Friday 27 June 2014 

Start 7pm. Finishes 10.45pm.

£5 entry (plus £2 corkage if bringing own bottle)
- All profit goes to artists. 

An evening of experimental sound art, indeterminacy and performance all over The Penthouse studios and corridor project space. A Noise above the Noise of everything else. A selection of sound elevated. Everything made at The Penthouse flies from the rooftops. 

Noise Above Noise V Artists:

Rachael Finney
James Watts
Human Heads
Debbie Sharp 
Rosanne Robertson 

Full details about artists via 

Listed in not for profit listing for experimental music improvisation, contemporary composition, sound art, electroacoustic and DIY music in Disconcert Manchester listing. 


Constant Sleepless Night.

15- 17 May 7-11pm

15 May 7-11pm Special NQ After Dark Live Launch with sound and performance.

An evening exhibition and live soundtrack by artists Rosanne Robertson and Debbie Sharp for Manchester After Hours/Northern Quarter After Dark- as part of Museums at Night: Culture24’s annual after-hours festival of arts, culture and heritage when hundreds of museums, galleries, libraries, archives and heritage sites open their doors for special evening events.

See full details on Constant Sleepless Night full page here