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Turner Prize-winner Laure Prouvost at Manchester Jewish Museum

Manchester Jewish Museum’s Ladies’ Gallery, photo by Lee Baxter, 2021

Turner Prize-winning artist Laure Prouvost will transform Manchester Jewish Museum’s synagogue as part of MIF21

Turner Prize-winning artist Laure Prouvost will unveil a major new work that will transform The Ladies’ Gallery in our historic synagogue. ‘The long waited, weighted, gathering’, co-commissioned by Manchester International Festival and Manchester Jewish Museum, will premiere at MIF21 on 2 July 2021.

The immersive installation will consist of a new film, shot inside the gallery and in the surrounding Cheetham Hill area, inspired by the museum’s history as a former Spanish and Portuguese synagogue. Laure Prouvost has explored the our extensive collection to discover the stories behind past congregants of the synagogue, unearthing the long-lost voices of the women who once found comfort and community within its walls.

Prouvost’s films are often accompanied by objects which evoke its themes and imagery. For this work, materials that have been created while working with our resident Women’s Textiles Group will be incorporated within the installation alongside the new film, capturing the voices of modern women in the local community together with those of the women who once gathered in the synagogue’s Ladies’ Gallery.

The installation will feature as a major part of the reopening of the newly redeveloped Manchester Jewish Museum on 2 July, following a two-year £6 million Capital Development project, partly funded by a £2.89m National Heritage Lottery Fund grant. As well as the restoration of its 1874 Spanish and Portuguese synagogue, the new museum will include a new gallery, café, shop and learning studio, and kitchen where schools and community groups can develop a greater understanding of the Jewish way of life.

Laure Prouvost said:

“I can relate to migrating from places to places, all the travels, arriving in a place you don’t know… I always need some time to melt in. I created a space with naked birds to be free, to belong to it all, to the beautiful textures and architecture, to the history of this amazing place. I was inspired by the ideas of ceremonies and rituals that we bring from histories.”

Max Dunbar, Chief Executive of Manchester Jewish Museum said:

“We’re thrilled to be working with Manchester International Festival and Turner prize-winning artist Laure Prouvost as we re-open our new museum this summer. Artistic collaborations such as this allow us to explore and share Jewish stories in new and imaginative ways, making our collection more relevant and helping us connect closer to our diverse audiences. We can’t wait to welcome everyone through our doors to experience Laure’s installation and see our stunning new building.”

Co-commissioned by Manchester International Festival and Manchester Jewish Museum the project will premiere at MIF21 and then run until 3 October 2021.

MIF21 runs from 1–18 July 2021.

For more details about this year’s programme, please visit

Manchester Jewish Museum will open seven days a week to the public from Friday 2nd July. Tickets will go on sale for general admission and the installation later in May. The installation will be available for all museum visitors to experience.


Manchester Jewish Museum will be following the latest government guidance to ensure the safety of its visitors against COVID-19 including the potential use of masks, hand sanitiser and social distancing. Admission will be bookable in advance for timed entries with currently limited capacities.


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