PROFORMA is a non-profit visual art, performance and curating platform in Greater Manchester supporting artists and curators by commissioning new work and providing artist exchange opportunities while offering an essential programme for artists’ development including mentoring and peer-led talks.


Founded by creative director Chris Bailkoski, exhibitions have so far included showcasing mid-career artists at The Dancehouse Theatre, Manchester, The Manchester Contemporary, SET Space, Dalston, Abingdon Studios, Blackpool, Begehungen festival Chemnitz and Corte Supernova during Venice Biennale 2019.


Presenting artists from the Greater Manchester region, our aim is to commission new work for spaces outside of traditional galleries and support artists through collaboration and promoting exchanges locally and internationally. Alongside this programme, there is a supporting series of critical talks, Curating Movement, with national and international curators and artists. PROFORMA is also part of East Street Arts GUILD programme.


In PROFORMA’s vision it is clear that Greater Manchester has an abundant, creatively diverse and thriving visual and musical arts ecology and the hope is that our new strands, PAVILION, LOITERand CENSUS,will offer essential resources to help nurture and sustain artist and curator practices in the region.  



Chris Bailkoski is a curator with extensive experience of developing collaborative practices to create dynamic exhibitions and events in both galleries and non-gallery spaces, predominantly focusing on grassroots visual artists and musicians in the North-West region.


The ideas for PROFORMA have been developing through his own curatorial practice and as a director of Soup Kitchen. Founded in 2010, Soup Kitchen is a music focused arts venue in the city centre of Manchester. Providing a platform for grassroots musicians and producers through productions and exchanges with international artists, during this time the venue has become a vital part of Manchester’s cultural community. In addition to this, he has curated visual art exhibitions throughout the North West region and PROFORMA is the marrying of both these strands of his career.