The Launderette Sessions by Merel Smitt

Location: Amazing Grace Launderette (668 Rochdale Rd, Manchester M9 5TT)

Date: (Weds – Sat) 8-11,  15-18,  22-25 May

Time: Drop-In 12 – 6pm (Weekly schedule of activities to be announced each Monday of May)

Duration: 6 hrs

Access Information

  • Ear defenders, ear plugs and fidget toys available. 
  • Wheelchair accessible 


Image Credit: Sanne Donders

The Launderette Sessions

Merel Smitt and SICK festival host The Launderette Sessions at Harpurhey launderette ‘Amazing Grace Launderette’, transforming it into a supportive, collective community space, where the time spent waiting is no longer something to be suffered solo, but is a gift to share with others.

Everyone who comes in will be offered a free wash, and you’ll spend your time waiting together with a tea or coffee, games, a conversation, walks, creative workshops and activities, for a moment of meaningful gathering. The sessions will explore the role that ‘waiting’ takes within our lives and aims to reclaim the otherwise lost time for ourselves, in a way that supports each other through community.

The Launderette Sessions is a socially engaged art project by artist Merel Smitt in collaboration with Professor Sarah Marie Hall (University of Manchester) & Ariane Gros (dramaturgy). The project is commissioned by SICK! Festival and developed in partnership with the Amazing Grace Launderette in Harpurhey with support from the University of Manchester.

Thanks to special contributions of Inspire Women Oldham, Morag Rose (Loiterers Resistance Movement) and all the washers that visited our space.

Artist Bio:

Merel Smitt is an artist based in Rotterdam who makes immersive installations and creates interventions, through websites, fictional campaigns, score-books, audio-tours, walks, role playing games, in the public space, that interact with our daily lives.

Her research based, site-specific work has the audience, knowingly and unknowingly, taking part in various ways. Her projects are found in situations or settings where you don’t expect art to happen, and the impact of her work lies within the participants as they become aware of the way certain frameworks, norms and expectations produced by influences our environment, behavior and interactions.

Her projects can be seen as ways to rethink protests and social movements, occupy spaces, raise voices and set things in motion by finding ways to react to these political and societal topics together.

Merel collaborates with performers, graphic designers, web designers and researches different perspectives by speaking with communities, philosophers, activists, government and social workers, companies and experts

Follow the artist below: