IDLE WOMEN launches POWER TOOLS: a new online series of D.I.Y. video tutorials made by women artists women activists, and tradeswomen for women everywhere

Award-winning arts and social justice organisation IDLE WOMEN are launching POWER TOOLS, a series of 14 DIY videos made by and for women on 24 July 2019.

IDLE WOMEN’s fun, accessible videos star fourteen inspiring women and girls, some as young as 7 years old, who give instructions on basic DIY tasks such as changing a light bulb, smashing a window, painting a wall, and using a drill; as well as longer more in-depth tutorials giving guidance on jobs like putting up a shelf and bricklaying.

POWER TOOLS was conceived, developed and produced in its entirety by women from St Helens on Merseyside and elsewhere in the UK. The presenters include professional tradeswomen, women artists, and women campaigners: award winning playwright Natasha Gordon (Nine Nights) and her 12 year old daughter Ella Anderson; 7 year old Arooj and her mother Parveen Butt; writer Crin Claxton; actor Deni Francis; electrical engineer Diane Mills; domestic violence campaigner Geraldine Wolstenholme and her daughter VerityHattie Hasan, founder of Stopcocks, the all-female plumbing franchise; lighting designer Nao Nagai; artist Raksha Patel; writer-artist Sheree Angela Matthews, and artist Uzma Kazi. The soundtrack for POWER TOOLS was created by Manchester’s WAST Choir (Women Asylum Seekers Together), and every element of the project from building the set to filming and graphic design, was carried out by a woman.

Co-caretakers of IDLE WOMEN, Rachel Anderson and Cis O’Boyle said, “What we want to communicate above all else is that women can ‘have a go’. We don’t have to be professionals to put up a curtain rail and if we make a mess of it, there is always Polyfilla. We want women to find themselves in these videos, working it out as they go along, and sharing concerns or hesitations as part of a learning process that encourages others.” POWER TOOLS is part of HELEN, a three-year programme of DIY-led art projects by women for women, based in St Helens on Merseyside. HELEN grew from the desire to dismantle a house and build a home, and also established the IDLE WOMEN INSTITUTE, a temporary dedicated space, which was stripped back, and renovated throughout the project.

Since their inception in 2015, IDLE WOMEN have worked to create spaces where all women can belong, through a process of workshops and partnerships with women who face the most complex barriers; living in refuges or seeking specialist support following domestic violence or other harmful traditional practices. IDLE WOMEN have created permanent safe spaces, on the Selina Cooper, a narrow boat they designed and built to provide workshops and a social space for women; and in the Physic Garden, the UK’s first medicinal herb garden dedicated to women and girls, which won IDLE WOMEN a £50,000 award from the 2019 National Lottery Fund’s The People’s Project.

The women who made POWER TOOLS:
Cis O’Boyle (art direction, project delivery), Rachel Anderson (art direction, project delivery), Liv Proctor (Producer, Luca Films), Posy Dixon (Director, Luca Films), Laura Healey (director of photography, editor), Charmian Griffin (digital producer, art direction), Uzma Kazi (art direction, tutorial host),  Candice Purwin (Illustrator), Sara Nesteruk (graphic designer), Emma Blackburn(production assistant), Shazia Khan (production assistant) Misbha Khan (production assistant), WAST ChoirJanette Scott and Morayo Sodipo (press), and the 14 tutorial hosts: Arooj andParveen Butt,  Crin ClaxtonDeni FrancisDiane MillsGeraldine and Verity WolstenholmeHattie HasanNao NagaiNatasha Gordon and Ella AndersonRaksha Patel, and Sheree Angela Matthews.

On Wednesday 24 July 2019, POWER TOOLS launches on www.everywomanpower.tools.