LOOK Photo Biennial 2022: Climate x University of Salford

Autumn 2022

As part of LOOK Photo Biennial 2022, led by Open Eye Gallery Liverpool, the University of Salford Art Collection present three new photography based projects which respond to the climate crisis, environmental issues, and sustainable living.

Visit the New Adelphi Exhibition Gallery and New Adelphi Atrium spaces throughout Autumn 2022 for works by McCoy Wynne, Megan Powell and Gwen Riley-Jones.

And check out our programme of events below – including an online talk, a photo-walk, and a chance to see behind-the-scenes at the Energy House research facilities.

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

Are You Living Comfortably? 
by McCoy Wynne
New Adelphi Gallery

10 October – 23 December 2022
10am – 4pm weekdays
(excluding bank holidays)

Image: Courtesy McCoy Wynne 

During 2021 artist duo McCoy Wynne undertook a residency with Energy House at the University of Salford, working closely with the team to document, interpret and respond to both the unique facility and the themes of climate, energy use and environment. The resulting photo series Are You Living Comfortably? is an example of ‘how the imagination of art can interpret the discovery of science’.

Amid the wires, sensors and equipment monitoring atmospheric changes inside the facility – such as temperature and CO2 levels – the artists used both digital photography and thermal imaging cameras to visualise the research taking place. They also undertook their own research into sustainable practices and carbon footprints.

In addition, the artists drew their own background as property photographers: Energy House felt strangely familiar, like an empty home awaiting new residents. Giving it a new imagined life – dressed as if ready for sale, personal belongings and furniture added for effect, or with new garden views added from its windows – McCoy Wynne make the ‘laboratory house recognisable as a home’ – merging together the leading scientific research with the domestic environments it will one day improve.

Click here for more information on visiting our Gallery.

Mimesis: A beat before the rapture
by Megan Powell
New Adelphi Atrium

19th October – 16th November 2022
9am to 5pm weekdays
(excluding bank holidays)

Image: Megan Powell ‘Untitled 1’ – Electron Microscopy of mould on a honeybees body.

Artist, photographer and film-maker Megan Powell presents new work in progress that extends upon her ongoing visual research into bees and the mutuality of the hive.

Working in collaboration with Dr Katy Szczepura, Medical Physicist and Claire Mercer, Radiographer, Powell uses medical capture devices (including  X-rays, CT-Scans, 4D Ultrasound, and electron microscopy) as tools to help us understand biological systems  beyond what the eye can see. The project investigates issues currently affecting pollinators; lack of habitat, pesticides, climate change and the prevention of natural evolutions through human intervention.

Informed by a range of scientists, beekeepers and experts Powell examines the role of beauty and desire, aiming to re-balance our connection to the living world and realise the significance of its smallest inhabitants.

Additional Resources:

Megan Powell in conversation with Graham Clayton Chance

Research Sketchbook

Planting for the Planet
by Gwen Riley Jones and Action for Conservation
New Adelphi Atrium

19th October – 16th November 2022
9am to 5pm weekdays
(excluding bank holidays)

Image: Gwen Riley Jones and Action for Conservation

Artist-in-residence Gwen Riley-Jones has been working with the University of Salford Art Collection since 2021, using the Collection as a starting point to engage with young people about what matters most to them.

For one of her projects, Gwen spent time with youth environment group Action for Conservation, in partnership with RHS Garden Bridgewater, and together they explored how art and creativity can help communicate issues around climate change. They used used socially-engaged photography practice and sustainable plant-based printing methods to produce a series of images originally shown at the RHS Garden Bridgewater site in Summer. The photographs on display were taken by group members exploring their own relationships to natural environments; and the green tinted portrait images are made using spinach juice instead of ink, on recycled paper.

Gwen has also been working with groups of young people in partnership with Salford Youth Service, together they have explored wellbeing and ways of using photography and nature to connect and feel better.

The digital exhibition contains three series of images:

  • Planting for the Planet – images of chlorophyll prints exhibited for the first time; 
  • Salford LGBTQ+ Youth Groups – images created during photography workshops on the day of Salford Pride during Youth Week August 2022, 
  • Salford Youth Council x Tindall Street Allotments – images created when Youth Council teamed up with an allotment run by and for military veterans.

    To find out more about Gwen’s residency projects, visit her page here.


Watch now: Energy House in Conversation: McCoy Wynne & Professor Richard Fitton

This in-conversation with McCoy Wynne, the artist-duo behind Are You Living Comfortably?, took place live on Tuesday 8th of November. Watch now to find out more about the artists’ residency and exhibition from curator Lindsay Taylor, Energy House Professor Richard Fitton, and the artists themselves.

Closed-caption are available, select the subtitles & captions option in the tool-bar to activate.


Thursday 3rd November – 4:30 – 6:30 pm

Launch event: LOOK Photo Biennial 2022: Climate

New Adelphi Building – Atrium and Exhibition Gallery

Join us on Thursday 3rd November, from 4.30 – 6.30pm, at the New Adelphi Building, Salford to celebrate three new photography based projects from McCoy Wynne, Megan Powell, and Gwen Riley Jones; each responding to the climate crisis, environmental issues, and sustainable living.

Tuesday 8th November – 6:00 pm – 7.00pm

Energy House in Conversation: McCoy Wynne & Professor Richard Fitton


How can the ‘imagination of art interpret the discovery of science’? Join artists McCoy Wynne as they discuss their residency, with scientist and Energy House project lead Professor Richard Fitton.

Thursday 10th November – 2:00 – 3:00 pm

Photowalk for Wellbeing with Gwen Riley Jones

New Adelphi Atrium / Peel Park campus

Join artist-in-residence Gwen Riley Jones for a ‘photo-walk for wellbeing’ on campus, developed with young people from Salford Youth Council. Start at the displays in the New Adelphi building, then take a relaxed walk around campus and the park to photograph your surroundings in new ways.

Tuesday 22nd November – 12:00 – 1:15 pm

Behind the Scenes Tour – Energy House Research Facilities

A chance to visit the unique Energy House 1 and 2 facilities on campus – and see the current Energy House exhibition at our campus Gallery. See Eventbrite booking page for full information.