Online: Micro-commissions

Following an open call in April 2020 we are pleased to award 5 micro-commissions to artists from, living, or working in Salford, making new content and artworks in response to our Collection.

The programme, launched in the early stages of pandemic, aims to encourage artists to continue their creative practice during lockdown, and to find new narratives in our rich and varied Collection.

Selected artists include:
Mollie Balshaw, Heather Glazzard (both alumni), Katie Tomlinson, Richard Shields and Pat Flynn. Read more about the artists here.

The new works are released online during July-Aug 2020.


Micro-commission #5
August 2020
Mollie Balshaw

Working from the Warrington New Art Space, Balshaw has recorded themself painting in the studio, revealing the ‘performance’ behind painting: usually a personal, private and intuitive process. Inspired by notions of flux, movement and process in the work of Darren Nixon.

Click here to view


Acknowledging disparity is the first step to addressing it, or ignoring it, however Ignoring it usually makes it look worse. 2020
Richard Shields
Pencil on Fabriano Accademia off cut. 7.5 x 29.5 cm

Micro-commission #4
August 2020
Richard Shields

Salford based artist and art handler Richard Shields has produced a new drawing of a technician installing an imagined exhibition of works from the Art Collection. Part of his ‘Technical Drawings’ series – which seek to expose the ‘hidden processes in exhibition production’.

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a digitally made image by an artist. it shows three realistic cheeses melting.

still from Melt (2020) by Pat Flynn

Micro-commission #3
August 2020
Pat Flynn

Flynn’s carefully digitally rendered work focusses on mass media, commodity, consumer culture and reality. For this micro-commission, he has revisited an earlier body of his own work which is represented in the Collection – the Cheese series. Using the latest in movie software, he has turned his still images into a video where the subject – the cheese – slowly melts.

 Click here to view


detail from Unexpected Salford (2020) by Heather Glazzard. Digital zine

Micro-commission #2
July 2020
Heather Glazzard

Unexpected Salford is a digital zine, reflecting on personal memories since the artists’ formative time studying at Salford in 2018. The artist has revisited an earlier body of their own work, the LGBT+ Letters, which was gifted to the collection last year after participating in our Graduate Scholarship scheme. 

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detail from The Wanderers (2020) by Katie Tomlinson

Micro-commission #1
July 2020
Katie Tomlinson


“The Wanderers (2020) is a response to Figures by a Fence (1922) by Adolphe Valette. Although Valette created this painting almost 100 years ago, the painting holds new significance when reflecting on our current climate.”

Click here to view