An ‘arts centre on wheels’ visits Bramall Hall, Stockport bringing art, design and storytelling to the heart of the community

Cap and Dove, a unique mobile arts centre, is on its way to Stockport this September.

Led by Stockport Museums, exhibitions, performance and activities will hop aboard and take place around Cap and Dove, to provide moments of excitement, education and reflection to visitors of all ages who are welcome to just drop in.

Featuring a door handle that’s a nose, cast from the face of a radical author, a rainbow doorway that’s also a gutter to disperse Manchester showers and an onboard theatre, the arts centre on wheels is the work of artist, Joshua Sofaer, who was commissioned to create the innovative, moving venue to mark the 200th anniversary of Peterloo.

Commissioned by Greater Manchester Arts with the support of Greater Manchester Combined Authorities (GMCA), Cap and Dove has been lovingly designed to incorporate physical references to Stockport and wider Greater Manchester’s industrial past and social history. Highlighting the themes of freedom of speech, democracy and protest, the one-of-a-kind structure, even incorporating a shop, has already reached thousands of people on its tours through the summer months.

Cap and Dove will visit Bramall Hall, SK7 3NX on Sunday 19 September and be open to visitors between 10am and 4pm.

In addition, local artist Nicholas Granville’s artwork will be on display in the mini museum for the whole day. This will include his painting of Peterloo, ‘Stockport Female Reformers Masque of Anarchy.’

Ailsa McPhee of The Daily Dance will be spreading her contagious message of joy and wellbeing through music and movement. The Daily Dance Performance will be in form of an outdoor disco which will be live streamed from Bramall Hall. Everyone is welcome to join in for free. It would be great to see as many people as possible joining in with the Daily Dance at 2pm.

Speaking on behalf of Greater Manchester Arts, Marie Holland (Acting Chair), said: “Joshua’s idea for taking the shared and distinct histories of Greater Manchester and it’s ten districts direct to people living across the region can finally be realised in full this summer. The intricacies in the design of Cap & Dove provide an ever-unfurling journey of discovery into some of the most inspiring and sometimes bizarre aspects of local history, incorporating the radicals, the dreamers and the iconoclasts that wrote the region into the history books. With each stop on the tour offering something new to experience it’s a small arts centre with a huge story to tell.”

Cap and Dove refers to both the ‘cap of liberty’ and the ‘dove of peace’, two symbols of protest. Sofaer also chose the title with reference to the hat industry of Stockport as well as the ‘cap’ finials that topped the banner poles carried by Peterloo protesters as they gathered on Mon 16 August 1819. The protest ended in the deaths of 18 people as cavalry charged the peaceful gathering calling for improved voting rights.

Councillor David Sedgwick, Cabinet Member for Citizen Focus and Engagement at Stockport Council, added: “It’s fantastic to see this innovative and richly historically significant art project on display in Stockport. The Cap and Dove installation coupled with great local artwork from Nicholas Granville and a performance from the inspiring Ailsa McPhee promises to make Bramall Hall the destination for those of all ages this weekend.”

Visit the Stockport Council What's On pages for more information about the event.