Posts tagged: Climate Change

Hybrid Futures Comes to Salford

We are delighted to share that we’re bringing Hybrid Futures, a new group exhibition exploring sustainability and the climate crisis, to Salford, launching in March 2024 at Salford Museum and Art Gallery.

Bringing together all the work from across the Hybrid Futures project, you’re invited to join us to celebrate the exhibition launch on the 21st of March.

Exhibition Launch: Hybrid Futures

5-7 PM, Thurs 21st March 2024
Salford Museum and Art Gallery

Open to all and free to attend, refreshments provided.
RSVP here:

A prayer room, water and dates will be made available to anyone observing Ramadan. Want to attend earlier? We will be offering a quiet hour ahead of the exhibition launch. Please contact Rowan Pritchard if you would like to attend from 4 pm.

Hybrid Futures is an ongoing partnership project from Castlefield Gallery in Manchester, Grundy Art Gallery in Blackpool, Touchstones Rochdale, University of Salford Art Collection and Shezad Dawood Studio exploring collective and more sustainable ways of working.

Marking one of the final phases of the 2-year project, the exhibition brings together the new works co-commissioned for Hybrid Futures from Shezad Dawood, Jessica El Mal, Parham Ghalamdar and RA Walden, each exploring universal threats of climate change, informed and inspired by their own perspectives and backgrounds.

Also featured is the wider work of the project including Collective Futures, a test bed community engagement programme and the findings and recommendations of Hybrid Futures’ Sustainability Advisor, Danny Chivers whose work has been integral to the project and the partners.

More to come from Hybrid Futures:

  • Interested in the behind-the-scenes of the project? The exhibition will be accompanied by a national symposium on 10 May 2024, where learning from Hybrid Futures will be shared. Find the booking and full programme details here on Eventbrite:
  • Alongside the exhibition at the Museum, two additional works by Hybrid Futures artists Parham Ghalamdar and Shezad Dawood will be screened at the New Adelphi Exhibition Gallery, University of Salford, to coincide with the exhibition. Part of the Gallery’s art film season – showing works from the University Art Collection with an international focus – Birds or Borders by Ghalamdar screens 18 March – 3 April, and Leviathan Cycle, Episode 1: Ben by Dawood screens 10th – 24th April – visit the UOSAC website for full details.
  • PLUS: A new exhibition by RA Walden will open at the Grundy from 20 April – 15 JuneObject transformations through the coordinate of time is a solo exhibition of newly commissioned and existing works. Spanning sculpture, installation, text and moving image, the works in this exhibition mark and measure the passing of time. Drawing on reference points as varied as, quantum physics, the ecological crisis, ancient timekeeping and the life cycle of worms, Walden is asking us to consider time at both a macro and micro level. More specifically, as an artist with lived experience of a disability, RA Walden also uses their work to explore and express non-normative experiences of time. From sculptures made from hacked office clocks to texts that ask who and what defines, ‘work’, Walden’s exhibition also provides a poetic meditation on lives and bodies whose timekeeping does not conform to the supposed ‘norm’.

Find out more about the Hybrid Futures Project:

Visit the dedicated Hybrid Futures Microsite to explore the exhibitions so far, learn more about the artists & partners, and read about the work of Collective Futures now.

Hybrid Futures, a multi-part collaboration focusing on climate, sustainability, collaborative learning and co-production between Castlefield Gallery, Manchester, Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, Touchstones Rochdale, University of Salford Art Collection and Shezad Dawood Studio, and generously supported by Arts Council England and Art Fund with additional funding from Henry Moore Foundation.

🔗 Download the full press release here.

Arts Council England Logo
Art Fund Logo
Henry Moore Foundation Logo

LOOK Climate Lab 2024 – Private View and Launch

RSVP – Thursday 8th of February 2024, 6-8 PM



LOOK Climate Lab is a biennial programme exploring how photography can be a relevant and powerful medium for talking about climate change. The Open Eye Gallery has been transformed into a lab: bringing together researchers and artists to collaborate, test their ideas, and encourage audiences to discuss systematic changes needed for dealing with the climate crisis.

Open Eye Gallery - LOOK Climate Lab 2024
Photo cred : Rob Battersby
Open Eye Gallery - LOOK Climate Lab 2024
Photo cred : Rob Battersby

The exhibition is open now! However there is a private view and launch alongside the We Feed The UK project on the 8th of February, 6-8 pm. Come along if you can!

Featuring Stephanie Wynne, Nazar Furyk, our artist in residence at Energy House 2 Mishka Henner, John Davies, Mario Popham, Johannes Pretorius, Hellen Songa, one of our previous Graduate Scholars Lizzie King, and Gwen Riley Jones!

RSVP and find out more through the Open Eye Gallery website – link below!

LOOK Climate Lab is partnered with Gaia Foundation, Energy House 2.0 Salford, Royal Horticultural Society, The Tree Council, Impressions Gallery, Peloton Liverpool Coop, Wigan Council, The Mersey Forest, Liverpool ONE and many others to bring people and ideas together, explore the complexities of human-nature relationships and make positive changes to live more sustainable and connected lives.

Photo credit : Rob Battersby Photography

Another year of Green Impact success for the Art Collection

Following on from 2021-22 where the Art Collection took home a platinum Green Impact award after participating for the first time in the University-wide Green Impact Scheme, this year for 2022-23 we are delighted to share that we have once again achieved a platinum Green Impact award for our ongoing sustainability efforts. 

Green Impact is a United Nations award-winning sustainability engagement programme, run internationally by SOS-UK. Throughout the year, organisations across the globe work on sustainable actions in the Green Impact toolkit, each worth either 5, 10 or 15 points. 

By completing actions worth over 500 points throughout the year, the Art Collection team has achieved a second Platinum award. Actions undertaken this year have included completing an energy audit with Marta Strzelecka, University Sustainability Engagement Officer and continuing to reduce single-use plastic and make sustainable swaps where possible across our work; swapping out bubblewrap for re-usable silver stiffy bags as recommended by the Gallery Climate Coalition, and continuing to use ecoboard over foamex and vinyl in our exhibition signage and materials. 

Team Assistant Sam Parker holding the Green Impact award in front of two University sustaininability banners.
Team Assistant Sam Parker at the 2023 Green Impact Awards. Courtesy the Enviromental Sustainability Team.
Resuable Silver Bags being used to store artwork rather than single use plastic.

In addition to day-to-day actions, our Green Impact submission this year also included our wider thematic work around sustainability, including the ongoing Energy House artist residencies and the Hybrid Futures programme. 

For our Hybrid Futures work, particularly around the Collective Futures collaborative engagement programme, we were awarded the special Community Action Award. Collective Futures brings together individuals, invited by the Hybrid Futures‘ partners for their perspective on the climate crisis. Connecting around Hybrid Futures’ ongoing activity, the collective is collaborating to explore new ideas, possible solutions, and examples of creative work that has made an impact in local and global communities. With each member able to both bring their interests, experiences, and insights and share the group’s work back out to their communities, the collective is already proving a fruitful site of collaboration and sharing. 

Additionally, Lizzie King was awarded the Student Leadership Award for her work on Sustaining Photography. MA Contemporary Fine Art student Lizzie has co-developed Sustaining Photography with socially-engaged photographer Gwen Riley Jones as an exhibition and programme of engagement for fellow students and the public, showcasing and promoting plant-based alternatives to traditional toxic photographic methods. If you would like to find out more about Lizzie’s work on Sustaining Photography, click here

Lizzie King holds her Green Impact award, stood in front of two sustainability banners.
Lizzie King accepting her Student Leadership Award. Courtsey the Enviromental Sustainability Team.
A photograph of Lizzie King in the University of Salford Community Growing Space.
Lizzie King, Sustaining Photography. Courtesy Lizzie King.

Art Collection Team Sustainability Champion, Rowan Pritchard shares: “Once again we are so pleased to be recognised for our ongoing sustainability work. From day-to-day activity to our overarching thematic focuses, working sustainability has come to underpin everything we try to do at the University of Salford Art Collection. It has been great to take part once again in Green Impact, and to see and celebrate all of the brilliant sustainability work happening across campus.” 

Find out about all of the teams who participated in Green Impact across the University PLUS read more about the Green Impact programme on the University’s sustainability blog, here

New Blogs from Sustaining Photography 🌿

Throughout November, artist Lizzie King and Socially Engaged Photographer Gwen Riley Jones have been sharing recipes and reflections from their project Sustaining Photography.

Sustaining Photography is a project led by Lizzie and Gwen, exploring and promoting plant-based and sustainable alternatives to traditional photographic processes. 

You can read all four blogs, including recipes for anthotypes and 35mm film developer from Gwen and Lizzie and find out more about the project here: Sustaining Photography

Sustaining Photography has been funded by the Salford Advantage Fund and The University of Salford Art Collection.

Sustaining Photography Blog – Why? Lizzie King

Artist Lizzie King shares why working on the Sustaining Photography project is important to her. Lizzie King is a former Graduate Scholar with the Collection, and is currently studying for her MA in Contemporary Fine Art at the University.

As artists, as makers, as creators there is a journey that results in us adopting processes or ways of making.  We take these processes into our vernacular and use them to describe ourselves, to define our way of practising. The list of these words seems endless: documentary, abstract, commercial, photographer, image maker, artist, content creator… and the list carries on. They don’t just define ourselves but how we are different from others. How about the word ‘ecological’ or ‘eco’ or ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’ or ‘climate aware’? How does this define a maker? How does this mark a difference between one maker and another? In this day and age should these words really be something we can define or differentiate ourselves on? 

My journey towards using greener processes has been born out of a continual curiosity about alternative photographic processes. Years experimenting with different versions and iterations of caffenol (coffee based homemade developer) recipes showed me the extent that these recipes could be pushed to. The thought of the impact that the standard photographic chemicals were having had never particularly crossed my mind until I started to try to make developers from plant matter.  As I explored the possibilities  of using plants in the creation processes and their unique compounds and properties that make particular developers work so well, I started to think about how working this way was really allowing my work to talk about the environment while also being kinder to the environment. I use these plant based processes because I am fascinated by being able to use a wide range of materials in making my imagery. The experimentation and the time spent outside looking intently at nature brings me joy.   

A photograph shows two green anthotype prints, on a rack,  being exposed to the sun.
Anthotypes for Sustianing Photography. Courtesy Lizzie King.

The United Nations recognises that we are in the midst of a climate emergency. There is clear guidance from scientists that the world (let’s be honest, the world’s riches countries) needs to act now to be able to see a change from the current trajectory. What does this look like for our practices? At the end of the day this is about working in a way that is aware of ourselves, our precarious stance on earth, how we are intertwined with the earth. As Timothy Morton puts it, “We are all burnt by ultraviolet rays. We all contain water in about the same ratio as Earth does, and salt water in the same ratio that the oceans do. We are poems about the hyperobject Earth.” (Morton, 2013) 

Our society has done everything it can to see nature as other to who we are rather than accept the reality that we are a part of nature. Can we really afford as a community of makers to have a small grouping of makers who are ‘sustainable.’ Can we progress to a stage where it is common understanding that everyone’s practice is as sustainable as possible?   

Many people say ‘there is no green way of doing this’, ‘Photography is never going to be sustainable’ and ‘The only way to do it green is to not do it at all’. This is not about stopping making. What I hope you get from this zine is that we have choices. We’ve presented a few options for different processes you could adopt. You can choose to make these your own. They might open up a new creative avenue for you.  You might find that making something using an alternative greener process gives you a new aesthetic that you’ve been looking for or a new way to relate to the world around you. Perhaps these processes aren’t for you but reading this can start to raise the question within your way of working: how can I do this better? 

I don’t think I have ever written a piece of writing with more questions in it, but the fact is we don’t have all the answers. Analogue photography has a long history of toxic chemical output and unsustainable mining from the earth. Digital photography has problems with mass server usage for storing on the cloud on top of the precious materials being mined from the earth to create the high-tech equipment. Being aware is the first step to being able to change our ways. I hope that the future will see makers discover more sustainable ways of producing what we make. This is all about producing what we do but better. 

Sustaining Photography is a collaborative project by Lizzie King & Gwen Riley Jones to connect and engage students at the University of Salford with sustainable photographic processes, using produce from the University’s Community Growing Space. The project is based at The University of Salford and has been funded by the Salford Advantage Fund and The University of Salford Art Collection.

Click here to find out more.

Sustaining Photography Blog – Why? Gwen Riley Jones

Socially Engaged Photography Gwen Riley Jones, shares why she wanted to work on the Sustaining Photography project.

In 2019, The British Youth Council declared the climate emergency the “biggest issue facing young people”. This headline is taken from the Planting for the Planet exhibition, held at RHS Garden Bridgewater in 2022. In this exhibition, I worked with young people from Action for Conservation to explore nature-based solutions to climate change. Through the process of collaborating with, and learning from, a group of young people to make images for the exhibition, my creative practice changed forever.  

We were making work about nature-based solutions to climate change, so I wondered, are there any plant-based photographic techniques? Turns out there’s loads. 

As soon as I started to learn about it – it made total sense – plants create energy using light – they are light sensitive, they contain pigments that adapt and change with changes in light intensity. My mind was blown, I was hooked. 

But what hooked me in deeper was that I could suddenly create photographs in my kitchen at home. The process is safe and non-toxic, even edible, and I could create anthotype paper at home in my kitchen whilst I made my daughter’s breakfast. I’ve been a photographer for 20 years but setting up a home darkroom has always felt like too big a task – for many reasons, not least, toxic waste. 

A participant exploring sustainable photographic methods as part of Gwen’s workshops during Rediscovering Salford.

Perfection in the imperfection. 

It is a parody of the industrial world that in searching for photographic perfection, faster shutter speeds, sharper images – steps towards the sublime – we have created a toxic world. Maybe the perfection is actually found in the imperfections, in these green pictures which will fade to nothing when left out in the sun.  

And from here, well it makes you wonder, if we don’t need to use these harmful substances, why do we? 

So I now work with sustainable photographic processes almost as a metaphor for sustainable practices, sustainable lives. As a way of starting a conversation – if we can do this using only plants – what else can we do using only plants? 

I grew some beetroot, made anthotypes out of the juice, film developer out of the peelings, and pickled the beets to eat for lunch. You don’t need much money and you certainly don’t need perfection. The beauty of this process is in the imperfection, and the accessibility of the practice.  

So we invite you to join us: pick some spinach from the community growing space (but also make sure you join in and plant some more!) make some anthotypes, cook a curry, use the vegetable peelings to develop your film, ask some new questions. 

Share the spoils of your practice with those around you. Put up a picture, pass on a plate of food, share your experience. And let us know what else you decide to do differently.

Sustaining Photography is a collaborative project by Lizzie King & Gwen Riley Jones to connect and engage students at the University of Salford with sustainable photographic processes, using produce from the University’s Community Growing Space. The project is based at The University of Salford and has been funded by the Salford Advantage Fund and The University of Salford Art Collection.

Click here to find out more.

Sustaining Photography Exhibition Open & Events Programme Announced!

Over the course of the year, current MA student and past Graduate Scholarship recipient Lizzie King, and socially-engaged photographer Gwen Riley Jones have been working together on Sustaining Photography.

Sustaining Photography is a collaborative project to connect and engage students at the University with sustainable photographic processes. Lizzie and Gwen have been working together throughout the year to grow produce in the Community Growing Space and explore how these can be used to create plant-based alternatives to traditional photographic methods, which use harmful chemicals.

Now Open!

An exhibition showcasing the collaborative artwork Lizzie and Gwen have created during the project so far is now on display in the University’s Community Growing Space. Alongside the artwork, you can see the produce being grown, and find recipes they have developed for the plant-based photographic methods they have used to make the work.

Feeling Inspired? You can now get involved in a series of events being held as part of the wider Sustaining Photography exhibition. The events programme includes artist talks from Edd Carr and Tamsin Green, photography workshops, and portfolio reviews for current students. You can find the full details of each event here.

The Sustaining Photography project is based at The University of Salford and has been funded by the Salford Advantage Fund and The University of Salford Art Collection.

The University of Salford Art Collection Team recognised as sustainability champions

June 2023
Marta Strzelecka, University Sustainability Engagement Officer

The University of Salford Art Collection Team has been awarded two Green Impact National Awards: Innovation for Engagement and Sustainability Hero, for their continuing commitment to sustainability action and engagement.

Every year, Green Impact Special Awards are given out across institutions to people and teams who go above and beyond for sustainability. These Special Award winners are then put forward for consideration for the Green Impact National Awards. This year, the Art Collection Team received two national awards!

The first one – Innovation for Engagement – recognises ways in which Green Impact teams have engaged more people in sustainability activities, supporting staff and students to learn about and lead on sustainability. This award spotlights creative innovation in the engagement: the more people we can actively engage, the bigger the positive impact we can make.

The Art Collection Team, led by Team Assistant Rowan Pritchard, won thanks to the largest outreach and impact, international engagement and multiple stakeholders in their programmes and projects. At the end of last year, the Team also won a Platinum Green Impact award for their sustainability efforts within their department, including implementing an office switch-off campaign to save energy, ensuring the use of reusable items such as bags and packaging, and introducing plants to green up the office.

Young people from Action for Conservation spending time with older people from Pride in Ageing at the Pocket Park they created working with Gwen Riley Jones & RHS Bridgewater.
A participant exploring sustainable photographic methods as part of Gwen’s workshops during Rediscovering Salford.
Rowan recieving the platinum award on behalf of the team at the University Green Impact awards.

There’s a clear commitment to sustainability in the Team’s programme and way of working. The main sustainability actions taken by the Team to win the awards include:

  • The Are You Living Comfortably? photography project, showcasing work from artists McCoy Wynne, created through a pilot artists residency the Team hosted with the University’s Energy House facility and in partnership with Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool. The artwork, created in response to themes of climate change, energy efficiency and retrofitting, has been on display in both Liverpool and Salford during 2022, alongside displays of research materials, videos, and a series of online events and more to engage audiences of thousands. The work was also selected to feature online in the COP26 showcase, and has since gone on loan to Bury Art Museum.
  • The You Belong Here: Rediscovering Salford’s Green Spaces exhibition, displayed at Salford Museum & Art Gallery, was launched as part of the city-wide Rediscovering Salford programme, encouraging audiences of over 16,000 to reconsider and reconnect with the green spaces around them through exciting newly commissioned artworks in response to Salford’s parks and green spaces. Alongside the exhibition, the Team ran a programme of engagement including tours, talks, and workshops to encourage participants to engage with their own local environments and reconnect with the nature around them. The exhibition was led on behalf of the Salford Culture and Place Partnership, and the wider project was generously supported by Arts Council England and Suprema Lex.
  • The Peer to Peer: UK/HK 2022 project, led by the Team in collaboration with Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, supported 9 UK visual arts organisations and 9 Hong Kong visual arts organisations, along with more than 43 artists, and over 160 students to connect, create work, and develop enduring partnerships internationally while rethinking the ways of working remotely to mitigate the environmental impacts of long-haul air travel. This resulted in an online festival, promoting these ways of working through talks and the artwork created during the project to encourage others to consider new ways of connecting with others while minimising their carbon footprint.
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.

In response to winning the award, Rowan said:

Taking part in Green Impact has been a challenging and inspiring process. When we began on our Green Impact journey, I don’t think any of us expected that we would win a national award. It has been a huge honour to be recognised in this way and serves as a reminder of how impactful working sustainably can be.

As a part of our University and local community and as a resource people look to, it is important to us at the Collection that we not only encourage others to work in sustainable ways, but that we lead by example, and show how even the smallest acts contribute to wider change.

We are now more motivated than ever to continue our sustainability journey. Through projects like Hybrid Futures, we’re already thinking about how our sustainability work can be more wide-reaching, working in partnership with other arts organisations and artists, as well as a cohort of community leaders who we hope will be able to spread the learning and tools needed for working more sustainably even further than before.

The second award – Sustainability Hero – recognises a person with extraordinary commitment to sustainability within a Green Impact team, as nominated by their colleagues.

Gwen Riley Jones, the Socially Engaged Photographer-in-Residence with the Art Collection Team in 2021/22, won for going far beyond the actions outlined in the Green Impact toolkit. Her work in collaboration with youth groups explored non-toxic, plant-based methods of photography and printing. The judges described her process to achieve maximum engagement through their work as “impeccable”. The group’s work has been viewed by over 50,000 people through a display with partner organisation RHS Garden Bridgewater, and it is artistically promoting awareness of plant-based techniques. The judges loved the creative heritage links, too.

Gwen Riley Jones with her Sustainability Hero award.

In the nomination, Gwen’s colleagues wrote:

Gwen Riley Jones is our team’s Sustainability Hero. Over the last 12 months she has worked with over 100 people at different creative workshops, exploring plant-based methods of photography and printing. This has included making her own spinach anthotypes, a plant-based method of printing using no chemicals. Her work with anthotypes and the Action for Conservation youth group led to an exhibition of the plant-based work at the RHS Garden Bridgewater in Salford. Over 50k people visited this exhibition, raising significant awareness of plant-based methods of creating and hopefully inspiring others to explore sustainable ways of working.

At each step of the way she has considered sustainability, ordering reusable film cameras rather than disposable ones, printing all the exhibition materials on compostable boards, and ordering entirely vegan food for her week of activity with Action for Conservation.

Demonstrating incredible commitment to sustainability within her work, Gwen has continued to explore even further how she can reduce the number of unsustainable chemicals she works with, now exploring ways of creating photographic developers using composting vegetables. Gwen’s work over the last 12 months has really inspired us to take initiative as a team and really push the ways we can be more sustainable in our everyday practices.

In response to winning the award, Gwen said:

Issues around climate change and sustainability can feel overwhelming, but I have found that by collaborating with people and working together it feels more achievable. Each action, each thought, helps us to ask more questions and think about how we can change our practices – step by step – to create a bigger impact.

When we started this journey, I had no idea of the places it would go, I certainly didn’t expect to be winning any awards for it. It has been my privilege to collaborate with young people on these projects as, in my experience, they immediately have answers and I have learnt so much from working together.

This work will have no end and will continue to develop alongside the creativity. I have a huge thanks to give to the whole Art Collection Team for their commitment to sustainability and for their encouragement. Also, a huge thank you to the ever-expanding networks of people who are willing to share ideas and try new things to try to live, study and work more sustainably.

Gwen has since gone on to collaborate with MA Fine Art student Lizzie King and the University’s Sustainability Team, to produce a further series of events and displays on campus entitled ‘Sustaining Photography’ taking place in Summer/Autumn 2023, supported by the Advantage Fund.

The Team are grateful to Marta Strzelecka, University Sustainability Engagement Officer, for her support during the Green Impact project – and encourage any other departments thinking of joining to give it a go!

The national judging panel was made up of Vibhati Bhatia (Founder of South Asians for Sustainability), Charlotte Bonner (CEO of EAUC), Grace Corn (Senior Engagement Officer: Climate Emergency for Westminster City Council) and Rebecca Turner (Careers Pathway Manager at IEMA).

About Green Impact

Green Impact is a sustainability engagement programme, run internationally by SOS-UK. It’s a simple, fun and flexible way for departments to improve their environmental performance and champion sustainability at the University, whilst receiving recognition for their efforts and impact.

Colleagues form teams across the University and work through an online toolkit of actions together. A team can be any size and cover an office, building, department, or even a whole School or Division. Each action on the toolkit is allocated either 5, 10 or 15 points, and the team decides which actions to complete; the total number of points a team achieves will determine whether they receive a ‘working towards Bronze’ accreditation or a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum award.

Green Impact programme is open to all University of Salford staff members.

Read more on our Green Impact webpage.

If you’re interested in taking part, please get in touch with Marta.

Announcing: Hybrid Futures

Castlefield Gallery Manchester, Grundy Art Gallery Blackpool, Touchstones Rochdale, University of Salford Art Collection and Shezad Dawood Studio are working in partnership on a pilot project that they believe will make a difference to the way that they operate. Hybrid Futures will explore collective and more sustainable ways of working that will influence how the partnership commissions, exhibits and collects new work by visual artists to benefit and be more relevant to their audiences, now and in the future.

A series of exhibitions across the North West of England will feature new work and commissions by artists Shezad Dawood, Jessica El Mal, Parham Ghalamdar and RA Walden that address the urgent thematic focus of climate change.

The partnership will also be working with a group of people from their local communities with a shared concern about the climate crisis. This group called Collective Futures will investigate how creative production can help to shine a light on these issues and create solutions to the problems caused by the changing global environment.

To find out more about Hybrid Futures, and explore the artists, partners, and venues involved, visit the Hybrid Futures website:

Coming Soon: Hybrid Futures at Touchstones, Rochdale

The first public instalment of Hybrid Futures, Shezad Dawood: Leviathan: From the Forst to the Sea, launches this week from Saturday 3rd June at Touchstones, Rochdale.

Shezad Dawood’s exhibition premieres the latest episode of his epic film series Leviathan Cycle, titled Episode 8: Cris, Sandra, Papa & Yasmine, alongside related textiles, paintings and research material. Set in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest – one of the most ecologically diverse and threatened biomes on earth, Episode 8 charts an embodied, spiritual and ecological journey along the age-old Guarani path that links the forest to the sea. 

Read more about Hybrid Futures at Touchstones, here.

You’re invited to join Touchstones on Friday 2nd June from 6pm to celebrate the exhibition opening.
To RSVP, email
Please note, RSVP is ESSENTIAL in order to manage capacity. Without RSVP, you may not be guaranteed entry to the exhibition.

Hybrid Futures, a multi-part collaboration focusing on climate, sustainability, collaborative learning and co-production between Castlefield Gallery, Manchester, Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, Touchstones Rochdale, University of Salford Art Collection and Shezad Dawood Studio, and generously supported by Arts Council England and Art Fund.

Artwork of the Month – Market Scene by Colin T Johnson

For March, we asked Marta Strzelecka, Sustainability Engagement Officer at the University to select our artwork of the month in honour of Go Green Salford, the University’s annual programme of activity promoting and celebrating sustainable work happening across campus. Go Green Saloford invites students, colleagues and local community members to get involved throughout the month in making Salford a more sustainable place to live. 

Marta has chosen Market Scene (1972) by Colin T Johnson. 

A colourful painting of an outdoor market scene.
Colin T Johnson, Market Scene, 1972, Painting. Courtesy the artist. Photography by Museums Photography North West.

On Market Scene, Marta says: 

I selected Colin T Johnson’s Market Scene because the first thing that came to my mind when I saw it was: community. I believe that connecting with other people, exchanging ideas and opinions, and providing and receiving support, is vital to achieving social and environmental sustainability, as well as our wellbeing. Recently, the power of these became evident during the Covid-19 pandemic, when community-based actions and initiatives became lifelines for many. Markets have always provided an opportunity for all of these things: a platform to come together, purchase locally made goods and produce, catch up with neighbours and friends, and spend time outdoors. I believe that empowering and supporting community-led action is essential in building a sustainable, just and inclusive society, where local citizens are at the core in the process of identifying and solving local challenges. The colours and the general feel of the painting also remind me of a Sunday morning which, from my childhood memories, is the best time for a trip to the markets, spending time with family, and preparing for the week ahead.

Go Green Salford continues until the 26th of March – with BioBlitz taking place this Friday and Saturday! Browse all the BioBlitz events and sign-up to take part here.

Marta and the Enviromental Sustainability team’s work continues throughout the year and there are always ways you can get involved. Click here to find out more about.

Colin T Johnson (1942-2017) was a prolific artist born in Blackpool. He went on to study at Salford School of Art, 1957–9, then Manchester College of Art, 1959–60, before later moving to St. Ives. Among Johnson’s many activities, he was director of the first Bolton Festival, 1979, he was artist-in-residence at Manchester Festival, 1980, and at Wigan International Jazz Festival, 1986–7. 

Read more here, on ArtUk.