Since its inception, Idle Women has been committed to giving women artists and other creative practitioners, residential opportunities, either onboard the tailor – made narrowboat, the Selina Cooper, or on land. The residencies have allowed these women to become embedded in our communities short or long term, and engage directly with local women and girls.

Textile Artist 2019

Textile Artist Emma Blackburn has been practising wellness through embroidered nature through an exploration of the current plants and growth cycles at the Physic Garden sharing her practice with local women with plans to make an Idle Women banner for Super Slow Way’s British Textile Biennale.

Herbalist In Residence Summer 2019

We are delighted to welcome endobiogenic medical herbalist Mara Baughman who works with hormone systems. Mara will be working with our community partners Humraaz & will be offering a series of masterclasses in the relationship of the Thyroid in womens health.

Our herbalist in residence program has been kindly supported by the tampon tax fund.

Herbalist in Residence Autumn 2019

We are also thrilled to announce that Dedj Leibbrandt will joining us offering her knowledge of holistic practice/ herbalism for menopause & and FGM. Dedj will also be working with our community partners & local women. 

Both Dedj & Mara will be helping us to inform the planting for the Physic garden.

Idle Women at IKON Birmingham 2019

We were in residence aboard the IKON gallery’s slow boat hosting a series of PowerTools outreach workshops, artists talks including the first public discussion of plans for the Physic Garden with horticulturalist & author Alys Fowler.

On The Water Artists-in-Residence onboard the Selina Cooper, 2016-2017

Mojisola Adebayo

Summer 2016 – Accrington. Theatremaker and writer Mojisola worked with local teenagers & women form Lancashire Womens Centre. She wrote a new play Stars initaiated a mural of women’s pleasure & toured her production Muhammad Ali and Me to local boxing clubs.

Martina Mullaney

Spring 2016 –  Burnley. Visual artist Martina Mullaney joined with her daughter as the first live-aboard artist-in-residence. She established a women’s group in Rose Grove Library and joined the campaign to prevent its closure.

Noor Afshan Mirza

Autumn 2016 – Nelson. Visual artist Noor Afshan Mirza established a women of colour working group and a series of evening ‘open boat’ sessions for women.

Muf Architecture/Art

Winter 2016 – Blackburn. Architects and designers Muf Architecture/Art joined us on land before the Selina Cooper was built, to support us in conceptualising the boat pre-build alongside design work with local BME specialist women’s refuge Humraaz.

Nicky Bashall and Stella Barnes

Spring 2017 – Dewsbury & Mirfield. Collaborative duo, writers, poets and theatre makers Nicky Bashall and Stella Barnes developed a substantial project with Mothers Apart at the Women’s Centre, a project with the Greenwood Centre, and built relationships with many other local women during their stay.

Summer Invitation Dewsbury & Mirfiled 2017

Many women joined us in residence & stayed abosrd the Selina Copper in exchange for skill shares & time with local women.

Thank you –  Parveen Butt, Nancy Barrett, Natalie Deighton, Alana Jelinek, Sheree Angela Mathews,  Raksha Patel, Janette Scott, Linda Grieve and
Karen Shannon.


On The Water Artists-in-Residence on land 2016-2017

Dina Roncevic

Autumn 2017 – St Helens. Visual Artist Dina established the Landrover project space and metal workshop at the IWI offering MIG welding workshops and basic car mechanics whilst deconstructing a Landrover Defender. 

Raksha Patel

Summer 2016 & 2017 – Accrington, Mirfield, St Helens. Visual artist, painter and artist educator collaborated with 40 women to paint a large permanent mural in Church Accrington & worked with women in refuge in St Helens to create a garden mural. Raksha also was part of the Summer invitation Program in Mirfield & features in Powertools.

Michelle Wren

Spring/Summer 2016 – Burnley. Visual artist Michelle worked with Gannow Lane Community Centre, Burnley to establish ‘girls of the gannow’, a women’s and a girls group.

Sarah Cole

Summer 2016 – Accrington. Visual artist Sarah  worked with women in Church, Accrington to create Wild Washer Women on the Towpath, a series of workshops, performances, installations and events.