Richard Shields- The Future is Bright The Past is Colourful- Preview Thurs 12 July 6-9pm at Paradise Works.
In many ways he went ‘too far’ becoming physically, spiritually and mentally involved with the small town of Cushendall- but that is just...

Richard Shields- The Future is Bright The Past is Colourful- Preview Thurs 12 July 6-9pm at Paradise Works.

In many ways he went ‘too far’ becoming physically, spiritually and mentally involved with the small town of Cushendall- but that is just where he needed to go. His art practice burns as bright as the fire that burns and it comes from the very centre of his being which also burns as bright as the fire that burns as bright as the brightest fire that burns.

The Curfew Tower 2017 Resident Richart Shields is showing a new body of work born of his EVF project devised during his IMPOSE|LIFT residency. Shields is a Manchester based artist from Northern Ireland and was selected for this residency based on his explorative, research based practice combining drawing and performance. This residency focused on the socio political situation of The Curfew Tower and we knew Richard would explore all of the corners of this without holding back.

Shields describes that he has continued to explore issues surrounding the fractious history of his country, offering an alternative Ulster, in which art movements are at the centre of the troubles. Parallels are drawn between what some consider to be elitism within the arts and the secretive nature of Ireland’s paramilitary and masonic style fraternities.

We have had a sneak peek of his new film which is layered with outstanding wit, moments of brilliant connection- wiping our slates clean and welcoming us into a new future.

Join us for the preview this Thursday at Paradise Works 

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Queer Art Show 5 explores what it means to REVOKE- to invalidate, reclaim and reverse in the anniversary year of 50 years since partial decriminalisation of the homosexual act with the Sexual Offences Act 1967 . Curated by artist and director of...

Queer Art Show 5 explores what it means to REVOKE- to invalidate, reclaim and reverse in the anniversary year of 50 years since partial decriminalisation of the homosexual act with the Sexual Offences Act 1967 . Curated by artist and director of Manchester’s artist & Dyke led project space The Penthouse Debbie Sharp - QAS5 brings together ideas of restrictions, criminalisation and fighting for freedoms within LGBTQ+ lives.

Queer Art Show 5: REVOKE 24-29 August 2017

Preview Event- Thursday 24 August 6-9 pm (Entry donation to Lesbian Immigration Support Group) 

Exhibition continues Friday 25- Tuesday 29 August 1-6pm (except Saturday)

Queer Artists Float Manchester Pride: Saturday 26 August 2017 (show opens at 5pm until late). 

The space of defiance, subversion and perversion is cracked wide open offering a free creative hub for queers, artists and creatives to explore themselves, their art and the idea of what it means to revoke? An exhibition of contemporary Queer art from Manchester based LGBTQ+ artists including HOMOCULT , Queer Day School, Rebel Dykes, Seleena Laverne Daye,  Stiofan O'Ceallaigh & Ron Kibble, Michael Lucas, Debbie Sharp, Rosanne Robertson, Greg Thorpe, Sonny J Barker, Heather Glazzard, Kerry Karlof, Hannah Mclennan Jones and more. 

The Sexual Offences Act of 1967 focused on private space- sexual acts were now not deemed criminal if in a private space between two consenting men over 21. In response to the act of controlling homosexual lives within private space QAS5 celebrates the public space as with newly commissioned public intervention piece titled Fly for Freedom by Debbie Sharp which invites 100 members of the public to fly a rainbow kite for freedom in a central public Manchester space. QAS5 also takes to the Manchester Pride parade with a Queer artists float celebrating Queer art, expression and visibility. 

How do our legal systems, religious systems and societal structures affect Queer lives and what does it mean to the importance for the space and support of today’s Queer art? In a current cultural landscape of looking back at radical Queer practices as with Queer British Art exhibition at Tate Britain we concentrate on the now. Queer Art Show 5 was brought into existence based on a distinct lack of Queer art, DIY action and critical and political discussion over the period of Manchester Pride in 2010. QAS5 operates with the ethos of Queery Everything- explore ourselves, our art and our spaces for freedom and defiance in the face of homophobia. Queer Art Show 5 welcomes all to share this space in celebration, defiance and solidarity.

For updates and events visit the Queer Art Show host

For an archive of The Queer Art Show since 2010 visit

Follow @thepenthousenq on twitter and #QueerArtShow5

This project is supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

This project is supported by Superbia - Manchester Pride’s year-round calendar of cultural events

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Shots from The Penthouse at Sluice__ 2015 at Oxo Tower Wharf, Southbank London October 16-18 2015. Works by Rosanne Robertson & Debbie Sharp. 

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Masquerade / / Murmuration exhibition and performances by The Penthouse at Sluice_ 2015. 

Masquerade // Murmuration

Is a two person show at Sluice_ by artists and founders of The Penthouse Debbie Sharp and Rosanne Robertson with an accompanying sound and performance program.

Masquerade / by Rosanne Robertson exhibits inner forces and discord that manifests in relationships with and between objects, assemblage, costume, sound and performance sculpture. Freedoms and limits are demonstrated against each other in compositions celebrating form among chaos and chaos among form. Interactions and improvisations with assemblage and performance sculpture punctuate the exhibition and roam Sluice 2015.

/ Murmuration by Debbie Sharp exhibits external forces of nature and physics with silent investigations via internal structures of sound and matter with works that are drawn from the darkness of existence in-between life and death.

Join us for the Reception Thursday 15 October 5- 8.30pm

Exhibition & Press Gang- 5th Floor Exhibition Space:

Thurs 15th 5-8.30pm

Fri 16th- Sun 18th 11am- 6pm

Performance, sound & assemblage- Sluice_ 1st Floor Performance Space:

Thursday 15th 5-8.30pm

Friday 16th 12-6pm

Masquerade//Murmuration is accompanied by an intermittent series of live works with sound making, installation and assemblage which will be housed in the performance space and will then roam between The Penthouse space on the top floor of The Barge-house and the outside spaces of Oxo Tower on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th during Sluice_ 2015 opening hours.

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The Penthouse | Paradiso Project | Exchange Rates

Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York. 

- a residency project and exhibition of indeterminacy on the Vazquez Building rooftop in Bushwick, Brooklyn as part of Exchange Rates produced by Sluice_ Theodore Arts and Centotto. 

(on the corner of Central Ave and Forrest St, Brooklyn, NY 11206)

(Donation bar located in Vazquez, Donation entry to performances) 

Paradiso Project:

Is a short residency project and subsequent exhibition of site specific works by artists Rosanne Robertson, Debbie Sharp, Louise Woodcock & Neil Francis (2 Koi Karp) and Benjamin McChrystal Plimmer. We will exchange our elevated position in Manchester, UK to an elevated position in Brooklyn, NY and respond to the unique site to make new works shared in various stages. Works will include longstanding and recent relationships with structure, performance, improvisation, site, sound and space. 

During Paradiso Project we will occupy spheres of fire believed to exist in the earth’s upper atmosphere. 

Noise Above Noise events:

Friday 24th October. 6-10pm Beat Nite Special followed by Beat Nite after party 10pm- 12am.

As part of Beat Nite by Andrew Jason & Norte Maar The Penthouse hosts a special Noise Above Noise with a rooftop performance installation by Rosanne Robertson, Debbie Sharp, Louise Woodcock & Neil Francis (2 Koi Karp) and Benjamin McChrystal Plimmer. Plus we have a set by special guest artist Maria Chavez- we we are excited to share this rooftop stage with.


Noise Above Noise- Sat 25 Oct- 7-10pm 

A one off Noise Above Noise event made up of performance works with sounds inspired by The Paradiso Project. The line up will be made extra electric by the addition of MV Carbon. 

The Penthouse: 

“The Penthouse is an independent not for profit artist led work and project space in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. 

The Penthouse is the place to get your heads and hands dirty with ideas and new beginnings which fly from our rooftops directly into the city around us and beyond. The Penthouse is host to sound art project Noise Above Noise and was described in a feature by The Wire as “Performance series Noise Above Noise elevates Manchester’s underground scene to the fifth floor of a tower block”. We believe space for artists to do what they want is important and precious and that relationships with our audiences should be open and direct. We are a 5* Non Luxury art space. ”

Exchange Rates:

“The Bushwick Expo is the first collaboration between existing artist-run and emerging galleries in Bushwick and Sluice, the London-based art initiative for artist-run projects from across the UK and Europe. Projects from Sluice’s network of UK and European galleries will share space with existing Bushwick spaces to forge links and find common ground across a vast geographical sweep.

Exchange Rates invites representatives from kindred art communities to be part of Bushwick’s development. With a common focus on public engagement, artistic collaboration and the transferal of ideas, Exchange Rates will engender creative transaction between galleries, artists, curators and members of the public. There will be 52 galleries and projects participating from 19 different cities around the world. The expo will include several panel discussions, performance events and Norte Maar’s Beat Nite, a late night gallery tour and after-party on Friday. “


Visit for full Exchange Rates info and map.

Email us on for any further information

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Images from A Third Face- an exhibition of drawings and paintings by Rosanne Robertson, Kate Armitage and Joincey. 18-21 Sept 1-7pm. 

“See, you’ve got three faces. Your first face is the one you’re born with, the one in the mirror every morning, a touch of your mama in those blue eyes, Papa’s ruddy cheeks and thin lips, or maybe, like me, a set of crooked chops from an ancestor only some fake genealogist could identify. Your second face is the one you develop thanks to ego, ingenuity, and sensitivity, the one people identify as “you,” laughing at punch lines, downcast when things aren’t going well, exhilarated by passion and success, cold when confusion and fear set in, charming when seduction is part of the battle plan.

Then there’s your third face. No one ever gets to see that one. It’ll never show up in any mirror nor be visible to the eyes of parents, lovers, or friends. It’s the face that no one knows but you. It’s the real you. Always privy to your deepest fears, hopes, and desires, your third face can’t lie or be lied to. I call it my mind mistress, guardian of my secret utopias, bitter disappointment, and noble visions.” Samuel Fulller

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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 are excited to welcome Killing Time to The Pond.

Free For Arts Festival

(FFAF) is a non profit celebration of art and performance. The Festival presents a diverse display of the Visual Arts in unique locations around the city, from static exhibitions to interactive events and one off performances taking place throughout the week. Now on its 5th year, FFA hopes to draw on its previous success yet grow even more vibrant for 2014.

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 

“For Free For Arts Festival 2014, we will be constructing a 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 will reflect unusual recordings within our direct surroundings and highly laborious tactile processes with low value, unforeseen materials and objects.”

Opening times: 

3-10 Oct 11am- 6pm daily- available to view on the ground floor of Hilton House.

Drinks reception 3 Oct 6-9pm *Donation Bar

During the drinks reception you can also take a look/wander/listen up at The Penthouse which is currently home to Noise Above Noise residents David Birchall and Sam Andreae and permanent studio of artists and directors of The Penthouse- Debbie Sharp and Rosanne Robertson- for a glance at some works in progress. Please note we do not have an exhibition or programmed event upstairs at The Penthouse and The Penthouse operates as a workplace for artists during this time. 

Directions here

Email for any further information

Access: Hilton House lobby area is accessible on the ground level. The rest of Hilton House and The Penthouse is accessible via 4 steps on the ground floor to the lift. There is an accessible bathroom on the 2nd floor. 

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A Third Face

Preview- Thursday 18th September 6-9pm

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

A Third Face is an exhibition of drawings and paintings by artists/musicians Rosanne Robertson, Kate Armitage and Joincey. The exhibition will span the corridor 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.


Any press inquiries can be emailed to

Access: There are 4 steps on the ground floor and then a lift up to the 5th floor. The Penthouse corridor space is only 2 meters wide and can be difficult to navigate on busy occasions- but the space is left clear and the opens up into studios at the other end with more room. There is an accessible bathroom on the 2nd floor of the building. 

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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.

As the night rolls on Manchester After Hours becomes Northern Quarter After Dark. NQ After Dark is the city’s most creative quarter’s offering- in the form of a night time cultural mash-up. See the Creative Tourist full guide here 

Constant Sleepless Night opens on Thursday 15th May- the start of the festival- with a special live launch event including live sound making and performance as one of the many parts of this exploratory and responsive night time exhibition.

Please note sunset on 15 May is around 8.40pm. 

An exhibition in and of the dark. 

A glimpse. 

A curious sound. 

A smell. 

A shadow. 

This two person show by artists- and directors of The Penthouse - Rosanne Robertson and Debbie Sharp takes hold of all the senses harnessing the heightened awareness of maneuvering darkness. Taking the unique situation of this top floor city centre studio and project space Robertson and Sharp will use the city at night to site responsively influence works using image, light and sound. As the night wares on the city changes and so the unique rooftop view changes and so the exhibition changes. 


Debbie Sharp is an artist working with installation, image, text and live performance. 

“Static Memory II, shows the artist partly surrounded by a wire mesh structure, sitting at a dimly lit desk and intoning a repetitive text that, combined with radio static and electronic effects, forms claustrophobic layers. Metal plaque making crops up in Sharp’s work over the years; she records and loops the sounds of tools on metal as she beats out the words she’s reciting. In the further enclosed space of the corridor, the effect is both intimate and sinister.”- The Wire 

Rosanne Robertson is an artist working with action, objects and sound with both live and installed works. 

“For me Rosanne’s very much a ‘doodlebug’, that is to say, a provocateur who tirelessly works across all platforms, creating work by any medium necessary and who works beneath the skin,” Doodlebug, Dazed and Confused. 

The Penthouse: 

An artist led work and project space with “an emphasis on the divergent” (The Skinny). Home to artists Rosanne Robertson, Debbie Sharp, many of their collaborators and Noise Above Noise- a sound art event which “elevates Manchester’s sonic underground to the fifth floor of a tower block” (The Wire). 

Suitable for any age. Families welcome. 

Admission: Suggested Donation £3

Access: 3 steps on ground floor of building, lift access, wheelchair access, wheelchair accessible bathroom. 


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An exhibition by new collective of artists- MILK TEETH- who are currently all film making students at Manchester School of Art. The launch, exhibition and discussion was held at The Penthouse over a 2 day period 1- 3 May - providing the first platform for this newly developed work. The four artists of the collective are - 


and the artists they selected to show with them are - 


The works chosen related to the theme and title of the exhibition - ‘SKIN’- exploring notions of identity and sexuality and examining sensory experiences of the exterior world.

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The Penthouse

1- 2 May 2014

Thursday 1st May

The opening night will start at 6pm with drinks.

Followed by music from 9-10pm.

Friday 2nd May

Exhibition open 11am- 6pm.

Artist talk by members of SKIN collective at 6.30pm (doors open from 6pm).

Identity, Sexuality & Sensory Experience

SKIN is the first exhibition curated by a newly founded collective comprising of four third year filmmaking students from the Manchester School of Art. As well as exhibiting their own work, they are passionate about showcasing the creative talents and artistic pursuits of their fellow peers. They feel that it is of the upmost importance to be able to provide platforms for emerging artists to express themselves, and to create new stimulating creative communities.

Their upcoming exhibition will include work that opens up new discourses around the theme and title of the exhibition - SKIN. The work which will be showcased redefines notions of identity and sexuality, and examines our sensory experiences of the exterior world. The exhibition will be thought provoking and challenge the perceptions we have of ourselves, probing us to reconceive our experiences of the world around us. The members of the collective will be doing an artist talk on the closing night of the exhibition to further convey the themes within the work and their intentions as a collective.

The collective

Celia Wickham is a documentary and artist filmmaker based in Manchester. Working primarily with archival materials, her work explores the themes of memory, familial relationships, identity and mental illness. She is very interested in exploring the re-contextualisation of autobiographical materials, such as the family photograph and the home movie, through the filmic medium, and addresses personal narratives within her practice. You can find her work at:  &

Laura Milner, working under the pseudonym of ‘Starbelly’, is an experimental filmmaker and creative who works within the 'portrait’ documentary strand of film practice. Her main focus is capturing realistic portrayals of intriguing subjects as well as exploring themes of identity. Alongside her documentary work, Laura enjoys experimenting with music and rhythm, creating chaotic audio-visuals with undertones of surrealism. You can find her work at: &

Ella Deacy is an experimental artist and filmmaker whose work explores texture, sound and colour. Her work’s themes include the human condition, sexuality and the fetishising of the body. Light and water often feature in her pieces, which delve into ideas of birth. Ella is interested in physically creating visual, and sonic layers and textures in her films. She creates soundscapes using tactile objects to add different facets and guide audiences in unexpected directions. You can find her work at:  &

Abi McVeigh is a filmmaker and visual artist whose work focuses around light and colour. As a director of photography she likes to exercise the use of light, the colour of light in particular. Her interest in light art has also enabled her to incorporate the use of space in her work. Alongside this, her craft encompasses the use of distorted sound design in order to initiate uncomfortable reactions within an audience.
 Mental illness is the theme of work that Abigail is exploring at the moment, and she has created a link between sound and visuals aided by her recent research into colour psychology. You can find her work at: &

The Penthouse

An independent not for profit artist led work and project space in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. A place for making, doing and sharing by artists Rosanne Robertson and Debbie Sharp. 

Our outside projects such as working with SKIN support new artists with early exhibitions and provide the resources and networks for showcasing exciting new artists, collectives and their work from our dedicated artist led space.

Access: There are 3 steps on the ground floor of Hilton House. There is lift access to the 5th floor and a wheelchair access toilet on the 3rd floor of the building.

Further Information:


If you have any further questions/would like any further content for media/ promotional purposes please contact Rosanne Robertson at:

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A selection of images from QUEER SHOW 4 at The Penthouse 23-25 August 2013 x

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