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Science and Industry Museum

Artist Nikhil Chopra to transform Vulcan locomotive to mark the anniversary of Partition

Ever wanted to stay in a museum until you see the sun rise?

From Friday 28 September to Sunday 30 September, acclaimed international performance artist Nikhil Chopra is to transform the historic Vulcan locomotive at the Museum of Science and Industry into Blackening: 3157, a stunning piece of art taking influence from the 70th anniversary of Partition and the role railways played in the division of India and Pakistan.

Nikhil will spend 48 hours with the locomotive, eating and sleeping in front of it while he creates the giant artwork on canvas. The museum will remain open 24 hours a day for the duration of the performance, allowing visitors to gain a unique experience of the work.

Well known for these long-duration improvised performance pieces, Chopra's work will include changing into costumed personas and a large scale, charcoal drawing that will take shape throughout the weekend.

He will be accompanied by a bespoke soundtrack created by electronic music producer and DJ Masta Justy.

Visitors on the Friday evening will be able to create their own artworks inspired by the performance taking place in front of them, while there will be original archive materials, from the museum’s Beyer, Peacock collection on show on the Saturday evening from 18.00 to 20.00, with an opportunity to ask the archivist questions.

The Vulcan locomotive was manufactured in Newton-le-Willows in 1911 before being exported to India. Following Partition, it was one of the first locomotives to be used on the newly formed Pakistan Railways where it remained in service until the early 1980s.

This performance is part of New North and South—a series of events, exhibitions and interventions to mark the anniversary of Partition. Other events will take place at Manchester Art Gallery, The Whitworth, Manchester Museum and venues across the city.

Notes to editors

High resolution images of Nikhil Chopra with the Vulcan locomotive are available. Please contact either Kat Harrison-Dibbits, Press and PR Manager at the Museum of Science and Industry on 0161 606 0176 or email Kat.Dibbits@msimanchester.org.uk or Charlotte Sluter at Sutton PR on 0207 18 3577 or charlottes@suttonpr.com.

About the Museum of Science and Industry

The Museum of Science and Industry tells the story of where science met industry and the modern world began. Manchester was one of the first global, industrial cities, and its epic rise, decline and resurrection has been echoed in countless other cities around the world. From textiles to computers, the objects and documents held in the museum’s collection tell stories of everyday life over the last 200 years, from light bulbs to locomotives.  The museum’s mission is to inspire all its visitors, including future scientists and inventors, with the story of how ideas can change the world, from the industrial revolution to today and beyond.

The Museum of Science and Industry is part of the Science Museum Group, a family of museums which also includes the Science Museum in London; the National Railway Museum in York and Shildon; and the Science and Media Museum in Bradford. The Science Museum Group is devoted to the history and contemporary practice of science, medicine, technology, industry and media. With five million visitors each year and an unrivalled collection, it is the most significant group of museums of science and innovation worldwide.

About New North and South

From September 2017 to March 2018, Manchester will show an extensive programme of South Asian art and culture in venues across the city to mark the 70th anniversary of the creation of India, Pakistan and later Bangladesh. This is part of New North and South, a network of 10 organisations in the North of England and South Asia set up to develop a three-year programme of co-commissions, exhibitions and intellectual exchange.