a photographic composite showing a traditional, brick-build Victorian terrace. The image is altered to show hot and cold spots

McCoy Wynne, Are You Living Comfortably? 2021. Image Courtesy of the Artist.

Are You Living Comfortably? by McCoy Wynne.

26th January – 6th February at Open Eye Gallery.

Ahead of the LOOK Photo Biennial 2022 this summer, our partners Open Eye Gallery have invited the University of Salford to participate in a series of Climate Labs, showcasing research projects on climate change. 

The Labs are an opportunity to consider the images we think of in relation to climate change and to question our social responsibility when it comes to reshaping this visual narrative. The Labs are organised into 5 themes: energy, materials, transport, nature, and food. Partners are invited to take over the gallery to show work in progress and talk through ideas, with a view to making academic research more understandable.

From 26 January to 6 February the theme is Energy and the University of Salford is delighted to present the exhibition Are You Living Comfortably? by McCoy Wynne.

Exhibition Dates: 26th January – 6th February at Open Eye Gallery.

Panel Discussion (online): Friday 28th January 10.30 – 11.30 – Book free tickets here!

McCoy Wynne were selected as Artists in Residence at Energy House from an open call in late 2020. During 2021, the artists regularly visited Energy House – a unique research facility on campus housing the world’s first full-sized, two bedroom, brick built terraced house – built inside an environmentally controllable chamber which can replicate snow, rain, temperature, and other conditions. Observing and recording a research project into energy-efficiency retrofitting, the artists have produced a body of work that explores the facilities, experiments and tests taking place – showing processes not normally visible to the public. Making images that combine the latest scientific research with the familiarity of our own homes, the project also importantly highlights small changes that we can all make to reduce energy waste.

The exhibition Are You Living Comfortably? presents the finished artworks, both as photographs and as an ‘advertising’ brochure, alongside documentary photography including that of the construction of Energy House 2, due to open in early Spring 2022. We are also delighted to present a new poem in response to Energy House by Professor Jackie Kay, poet, novelist and former Chancellor, and Writer in Residence at the University of Salford. Following the exhibition, the artworks will be on display on campus as part of the University Art Collection.

In addition both the artists and Dr Richard Fitton will be participating in an online panel discussion: Energy House: Are You Living Comfortably? on Fri 28th Jan, 10.30 – 11.30 (Energy House: Are You Living Comfortably? Tickets, Fri 28 Jan 2022 at 10:30 | Eventbrite)

The event will ask how can artists, scientists, agencies, and politicians come together to support individuals and communities living in Victorian housing stock to become more energy efficient? The panel includes: Steve Rotherham, Metro Mayor, Liverpool City Region; Stephanie Wynne and Steve McCoy, Photographers in Residence, Energy House; Dr Richard Fitton, Reader in Energy Performance of Buildings, Energy House, University of Salford; Jon Hutchinson, Programme Director, Groundwork Cheshire, Lancashire, Merseyside. Moderated by Sarah Fisher, Director, Open Eye Gallery.

Ahead of the exhibition’s launch, our Curator Lindsay Taylor caught up with Stephanie Wynne, Steve McCoy, and Dr. Richard Fitton to discuss this unique collaboration and the experimental approach to the residency, using photographic practices to translate the important research undertaken through Energy House, and hear plans for the newly constructed Energy House 2 project.