Column: Explore the ‘fantastical’ Piece Hall through print and press

The Piece Hall
The Piece Hall

Adults with even the slightest interest in The Piece Hall and its weird and wonderful history – tight-rope walking and elephant parades to name just two curiosities – can start to get closer to The Piece Hall in the New Year through a new educational course.

Entitled ‘The Fantastical Piece Hall through Print and Press’ the eleven week course will take place on Wednesday afternoons, from 11 January to 29 March 2017. Taking inspiration from the building and events held there over centuries, that have been captured in print and documented in newspapers, through a range of hands-on activities, participants will explore illustration and the printing techniques applied to both paper and fabric. The course, run by The Piece Hall Trust with lead artist Harriet Lawton, will be delivered in collaboration with Artworks and the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA).

Over the life of the course participants will take part in printing and drawing exercises, inspired by, among others, the work of book illustrator and artist Joanna Neborsky and prose by Félix Fénéon, the 19th Century Parisian anarchist and art critic. Participants will explore images and articles from The Piece Hall’s archives, reimagining and retelling stories of Halifax’s magnificent grade I listed building and create an individually crafted, beautifully unique one-page story during the course.

“‘The Fantastical Piece Hall through Print and Press’ is a wonderful opportunity for anyone interested in broadening their knowledge of The Piece Hall and trying out new creative practices at the same time. This inspiring course will be a taste of things to come from our diverse adult learning programme which will include talks, tours and craft based workshops drawing themes from The Piece Hall’s vast heritage. We are really looking forward to collaborating with Artworks and the WEA on this and discovering together our fascinating history with those taking part.” commented Helen Moore, Heritage and Learning Manager for The Piece Hall Trust.

Lauren Iredale, Director at Artworks, added: “We thought of Félix Fénéon initially and his three line novels as a way of condensing some of the wonderful Piece Hall stories and giving them new life. I’d come across Joanna Neborskys illustrations of the novels a couple of years ago, and her work seemed to fit really well in that it draws together found imagery, illustration, letterpress and print. The sessions will likely look at lots of other artists, illustrators and writers too but her work seemed to pull together all the elements of the course perfectly.”

No experience is necessary and materials are included, for more information or to book a place visit

Cost: £73, or free if you are in receipt of some income based benefits (please see the WEA website link)

Start Date: Wednesday 11 January 2017

Every Wednesday afternoon: starting 11 January to 29 March 2017, from 1.30pm – 3.30pm

Where: The Artworks, Shaw Lodge, Shaw Lane, Halifax, HX3 9ET