Peel Park, The Crescent Salford, 1958. Courtesy Salford Museum & Art Gallery.

Rediscovering Salford: Four new artist commissions announced

Four exciting new commissions from Salford based artists Jack Brown, Cheddar Gorgeous, Hilary Jack and Lizzie King

The University of Salford Art Collection and Salford Museum & Art Gallery are delighted to announce four new commissions with locally-based contemporary artists for Rediscovering Salford, an exhibition and events programme due to launch in Spring 2021.

Part of a city-wide programme which highlights and celebrates Salford’s green spaces – inspired by the launch of RHS Bridgewater gardens in May 2021 – the exhibition at Salford Museum & Art Gallery will present the new commissions alongside original archive material, photographs, social history objects and historic artworks from the Museum, University, and other collections. Together, they aim to rediscover some of the city’s unique history – and overlooked or forgotten stories – as well as offering new narratives about our local environments.

The new commissions build on existing partnerships with artist-led spaces Paradise Works and Islington Mill, demonstrating a shared, ongoing commitment to supporting emerging, established and early-career practitioners based in the city. Selected in collaboration with the studios are Hilary Jack and Jack Brown from Paradise Works; and Cheddar Gorgeous and Lizzie King from Islington Mill’s creative community. Working variously across sculpture, installation, video, printmaking, photography, and drag performance, the selected artists exemplify the breadth of practice and talent to be found in Salford’s rich arts ecology. As a legacy of the project, elements of all four new commissions will be acquired into the University’s permanent collection.

Rediscovering Salford is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. The wider programme of events, exhibitions and engagement opportunities will be announced later this month.

“We are delighted to be working with Hilary, Cheddar, Jack and Lizzie, and to be collaborating with the University again. Each artist will have a very different approach to the project and we are really excited to see what inspires them. We hope the Rediscovering Salford commissions and exhibition will encourage our visitors to think differently about their local surroundings and green spaces.”
Claire Corrin, Exhibitions Manager, Salford Museum & Art Gallery

“I’m really excited to have the privilege to be taking part in Rediscovering Salford especially as a Salfordian it’s a great opportunity to focus on the beautiful green spaces and their historical, current and cultural significance.”
Lizzie King, Artist & University of Salford Visual Arts graduate (2015)

“We are committed to the development of a thriving cultural ecology in Salford through creating opportunities for artists at all stages of their career.  Both Paradise Works (established 2017) and Islington Mill (established 2000) are key partners for the University – hosting our Graduate Scholarship Scheme and offering further opportunities for our graduates and alumni. 
The evolving partnership with the Museum, and the wider cultural sector in Salford is at the heart of long term strategic plans to develop a cultural quarter in the city.  We very much look forward to working with these artists, and acquiring their work into the Collection”.

Stephanie Fletcher, Assistant Curator, University of Salford Art Collection

About the artists:

Jack Brown, Trinkets (film still), 2018, Video and found objects

Jack Brown works across a range of mediums and methodologies. His work focuses on the ‘overlooked, things that should be given more than a passing glance, moments that would benefit from magnification’. The works he makes are often found, realised, made or placed in the public realm. He also works collaboratively, leading on public realm projects and facilitating artist networks. His practice can be seen as an investigation into ways of making, and how those made objects or moments interact with the world around them.

Jack has exhibited in solo and group shows across the North West, and his work is in a number of private collections in the UK. He has a studio at Paradise Works.

Cheddar Gorgeous, untitled (green/nature/deforestation) (2019)

Cheddar Gorgeous is a drag, boylesque and transformation artist. Their work involves the creation of living spectacles that collage makeup, costume and performance as forms of self-exploration, expression, political action and storytelling. Cheddar has performed in cabarets, festivals and galleries from Hong Kong to California and was also featured on Channel 4’s Drag SOS.

Cheddar worked with Manchester Museum as part of their LGBTQ+ programme, which included a ‘family friendly digital drag show’ Queer Tales: Myths and Monsters (2020), and most recently with Manchester International Festival for their MIF Remote Residency programme during the COVID-19 crisis.


Hilary Jack, No Borders, Mellerstain House 2017, 8 x 9 metre neon. Photo: The Published Image

Hilary Jack works across media in research- based projects, site referential artworks, sculptural installations, and interventions. Her work comments on the politics of place, socio- political issues and the impact of human activities on our planet. The discovery of a found object often triggers ideas for new work, exploring recurring themes within her practice of loss, abandonment, reparation and the human experience.

Hilary has exhibited across the UK and internationally. Her work is in public and private collections and has recently been acquired by The Government Art Collection, Alnoba Sculpture Park USA and Manchester Art Gallery. She is a founder/Director of Paradise Works.

Lizzie King, Dust Cloud on Mars, 2016, Chemigram

The narrative of our ‘human centred universe’ is the centre point of Lizzie King’s practice. Her artwork is often inspired by scientific articles and fictional books; and the materials used are often informed by these stories. Lizzie explores the notion that ‘humankind can only see the world through their own eyes’ by creating images of the world around us; using light and the processes of photography and printmaking.

Lizzie graduated with a BA (Hons) Visual Arts at the University of Salford. In 2014, she was awarded a place on the inaugural Graduate Scholarship Programme, run by the University of Salford Art Collection and Castlefield Gallery, and was based at Islington Mill studios.

Further information:

Launching this autumn, Rediscovering Salford is an ambitious cross-city creative programme that refocuses Salford’s cultural identity through engagement with green spaces. Using the opening of RHS Bridgewater (opening May 2021) as a catalyst, it reframes Salford’s green spaces as ‘cultural spaces’ via a programme of public realm commissions, exhibitions and installations throughout 2021. The main partners are Salford City Council, Salford Museum & Art Gallery, University of Salford Art Collection, RHS Bridgewater, The Lowry and Peel Park.

Salford Museum & Art Gallery exists to collect and preserve Salford’s heritage and art collections, making them available for all through exhibitions, events, education and outreach.
Rediscovering Salford builds on a growing collaboration between Salford Museum & Art Gallery and the University of Salford Art Collection, including exhibitions Print UnLtd (2018), Acquired: a Century of Collecting (2018-19) and Everything I Have Is Yours (2019).

Islington Mill was founded in 2000 and is an artist-led creative space, arts hub and community. Housed in a 5-storey Georgian textile mill, it is home to more than 50 creative businesses and over 100 artists and delivers a programme of public art, residencies, music, events and exhibitions.

Established in 2017, Paradise Works is an artist-led studio community of 35 contemporary visual artists, a project space and gallery in Salford. They host a critically engaged programme of exhibitions and film screenings, showcasing works from new and established artists working nationally and internationally.

The University of Salford Art Collection is an ambitious and growing collection of modern and contemporary art, founded c.1968. The Collection aims to support excellence in teaching, research, community engagement and artist development; and actively acquires new work through a ‘commission to collect’ approach.