• Opportunity: Samarbeta Open Call Residency in response to Hybrid Futures

    Opportunity Samarbeta Open Call Residency

    Responding to the Hybrid Futures Exhibition at Salford Museum & Art Gallery
    DEADLINE: 5pm, 15th July 2024.
    Click here to apply.

    We are thrilled to share a new open-call opportunity for musicians to respond to the Hybrid Futures exhibition at Salford Museum and Art Gallery. This open call is looking for a musician(s) to respond to the Hybrid Futures themes and/or work created by the visual artists, to create a new live presentation to be premiered in Salford Museum and Art Gallery on the opening night of Fat Out Fest.

    The opportunity is part of the Samarbeta Residency Programme and includes ten days in residence at Islington Mill, SMAG & University of Salford, facilitation and technical support from Samarbeta & IKLECTIK, culminating in a live performance at Salford Museum and Art Gallery for Fat Out Fest 2024.

    To read the full information about the opportunity and application process, click here to visit the Samarbeta website.

  • View Now: Hybrid Futures Symposium Live Illustration

    Bringing together the Hybrid Futures sector partners, along with artists, commissioners, local authority staff, funders, community members and consultants, the one-day Hybrid Futures: Making, Showing and Collecting Art in a Time of Climate Crisis symposium took place in May 2024.

    Throughout the day, Live Illustrator Grace Collins captured the rich conversations. Collins’ illustration records the depth and breadth of the fascinating discussions from across the symposium.

    Read more about the Symposium.

    Visit Grace Collins’ Website.

  • Artist Shezad Dawood shares his answers to our Hybrid Futures questions

    Installation view of Hybrid Futures at Salford Museum & Art gallery, showing the main 'Have Your Say' question wall, and audience responses.

    Throughout the Hybrid Futures exhibition at Salford Museum & Art Gallery, questions are posed asking visitors to share how they feel about the climate crisis, and what arts organisations should be doing in response. As well as asking the audience, we’ve asked the Hybrid Futures artists what their responses to four of the same questions might be. This week Shezad Dawood shares his thoughts. 

    Question 1: How important is addressing climate change to you? 

    “I think the most pressing question of our time is how to get all people to come together around our shared planet and how we collectively make it, and not ourselves, the priority.”

    Question 2: What actions are you taking in response to the climate crisis? 

    “I’m reducing my travel and working with collaborators to collaborate on film, digital and writing projects remotely where possible. I’ve also been looking at how and where there are ways to reduce shipping, so for a recent set of shows the works were predominantly hanging textiles that could be put together on a single roll, rather than needing multiple crates, and the rest of the works were digital files that could be transferred.”

    A photograph of data presented at Hybrid Futures showing a pie chart of co2e emissions from the Hybrid Futures exhibition at Touchstones Rochdale June - Aug 23. The data shows that 32% of co2e emissions came from Energy use, 20% from art creation, 15% from transport of art, 12% from other staff/artist travel, 10% from staff commuting, 7% from paint, and 4% from materials.
    Data about the Co2e emissions associated with Leviathan: From the Forest to the Sea presented as part of Hybrid Futures at Touchstones Rochdale in 2023.

    💡 Danny Chivers, Hybrid Futures Environmental Consultant, has calculated that the total emissions from the first three Hybrid Futures exhibitions at Touchstones Rochdale, Castlefield Gallery and Grundy Art Gallery, are roughly equivalent to a single return flight from the UK to Indonesia (4.6 tonnes of CO2e). Reducing how much we fly is one of the biggest ways we can reduce our carbon footprints. 

    Question 3: “I believe art galleries and museums should…” 

    “Be engaging with artists, audiences, funders and colleagues to see where we can all work together to create new industry standards for how we do things, from reducing waste in exhibition design (and redesign) to hosting creative and interdisciplinary conversations to yield new ideas and collaborations between the arts, the sciences and to broaden our reach.”

    Question 4: If you could change one thing to make a more sustainable world, what would it be? 

    “Ultimately changing the behaviour and regulatory frameworks of the world’s largest corporations remains one of the quickest and most impactful ways to accelerate change.”

    A close up image showing green post-it notes, on the wall at Salford Museum & Art Gallery
    Post-it notes at Salford Museum & Art Gallery, responding to the question If you could change one thing to make a more sustainable world, what would it be?

    💡The 2024 The Carbon Majors Database: Launch Report found that just 57 organisations are linked to 80% of the world’s fossil fuel and cement Co2 emissions since the Paris Agreement in 2015. These findings highlight the importance of systematic change in order to tackle the climate crisis. 

    What would your answers to these questions be? 

    We hope that Hybrid Futures and these prompts encourage us all to reflect on our own actions, the places where we are already making changes, and where we can use our power and influence to have the biggest impact. 

    Hybrid Futures is open now at Salford Museum & Art Gallery until September 22nd, where you can see visitors’ answers to the questions and prompts, alongside work from Shezad Dawood, Jessica El Mal, Parham Ghalamdar and RA Walden.

  • RA Walden Solo Exhibition Opens at Grundy Art Gallery 20th April – 15th June

    A still image from RA Walden's work a slow and burning hope, showing ten cream coloured pillar candles, burning at different heights.

    As part of the wider Hybrid Futures programme Grundy Art Gallery presents a new solo exhibition RA Walden: Object transformations through the coordinate of time.

    Object transformations through the coordinate of time’, is a solo exhibition of newly commissioned and existing works by the UK born, Berlin-based artist, RA Walden. 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’.

    The exhibition opens this Saturday, the 20th of April, until the 15th of June at Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool. For more information on the exhibition and to plan your visit, click here.

  • Collective Futures: How might we best respond to the climate crisis?

    An image capturing phones, with there screens on, lay down on wooden plank flooring, alongside leaves and branches.

    How might we best respond to the climate crisis?

    “I found the idea, discussed at one of the sessions, of ‘contributing to a future world we will never experience’ to be surprisingly calming. I have faith, even though I struggle with uncertainty.”

    Collective Futures has focused on hearing from invited guests – artists, community activists and cultural strategists. Reflection has been a big part of the group’s sense-making, combining facts, feelings, interpretations and unlocking personal and professional relevance. The programme has given those involved new ways to think about their own work and/or working practices and begin to embed these individual and collective responses at carefully considered pace. The programme has led to direct action and infiltrated unexpected spaces, changing the way people think about their everyday activity for example – whether their actions go beyond sustainable to regenerative.

    I also shared with (my neighbours) the story … about the polluted river which caused lots of issues in (an) area. This sparked another discussion, a wider one, about sustainability and ‘green’ initiatives, and prompted an old idea to resurface – to transform a small bit of a green space we’ve got between two of the buildings into a community garden. Everyone offered to contribute and it turned out we’ve already got all the resources we need in terms of tools, seeds, et., from people’s balcony gardens(including a 2-ton bag of soil which our neighbour has somehow been storing on his balcony since last summer. We got permission from the facilities management which I thought would be much trickier, and we’ll set the project in motion as soon as spring begins.”

    Catch up on all Collective Futures updates and reflections including next steps and outcomes here.

  • Collective Futures Session 11

    Members of Collective Futures gather in front of boats mored in a sheltered dock.

    “It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten”.

    The group immersed themselves in the landscape as they did in the very first session.  This time taking in the architecture, mountainous views and heritage of Windermere Jetty Museum on the lake shore.

    Click here to read the full report.

  • Collective Futures Session 10

    This online session focused on the roles we can play to support or build projects or change. We used a metaphor of the scaffold to draw out and better understand the roles different people in Collective Futures naturally lean into – some people have ideas they want to run with, some want to support. Find out more here.

  • Collective Futures Sessions 8 & 9

    Collective Futures graphic. Text reads: Collective Futures.

    In 2023, Collective Futures focused on hearing from invited guests. We received and considered the work of artists and community activists and began to share our personal interpretation of what we are experiencing. Reflection has been a part of our sense-making; combining facts, feelings, interpretations and deciding what all of that means. Explore more here.

  • Collective Futures Session 7

    Installation view of Shezad Dawood and RA Walden's neon work for Hybrid futures at Grundy Art Gallery.

    Collective Futures met at the Grundy Art Gallery to view the new neon work commissioned for Hybrid Futures, RA Walden’s The Universe is a Clock (i) Schrödinger’s equation, (time dependent), 2023 and the New Contemporaries exhibition. Find out how the group considered their own understanding of time in this full report of session 7 here.

  • Collective Futures Session 6

    A visual storyboard showing the 6th Session of Collective Futures including a visit to Salford Museum & Art Gallery, and anthotype making.

    Take a take a deep dive into the University of Salford’s Art Collection to consider permanence, ephemerality and the cultural and environmental cost of creating and collecting contemporary art with the Collective Futures cohort here.

  • You’re Invited: Hybrid Futures Exhibition Launch – 21st March

    The latest instalment of Hybrid Futures launches at Salford Museum & Art Gallery next week. 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: 

    The exhibition brings together new work and co-commissions by Shezad DawoodJessica El MalParham Ghalamdar and RA Walden that will mark one of the final phases of the Hybrid Futures pilot project exploring collective and more sustainable ways of working. The exhibition in Salford is presented by the University of Salford Art Collection in partnership with Salford Museum & Art Gallery. Read more about the exhibition 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.

    Planning on attending? After your visit to Hybrid Futures, don’t miss Nikta Mohammadi: Memory Stone Preview at The Lowry, also on the 21st of March from 6 until 8pm. 

    To travel to The Lowry from Salford Museum and Art Gallery, catch the 50 bus from the Crescent (opposite the Museum), to Media City UK. The 50 is part of The Bee Network, with easy access on all busses. For more information visit: 

  • Collective Futures Session 5

    Two members of Collective Futures in discussion, sat back lit by a large window.

    Liz Postlethwaite of Small Things Creative Projects helped the collective to explore what regenerative means to them. Read more about the rich process here.

  • Announcing: Hybrid Futures Symposium

    Hybrid futures logo

    Friday 10 May 2024 10.00am – 4.45pm
    The Old Fire Station, University of Salford & Salford Museum and Art Gallery

    What are the environmental issues currently facing museum collections, art galleries and artists? 

    Is it possible to make your work more sustainable in the visual arts sector? 

    How can arts organisations and their local communities work together to influence change?

    Is there the potential to test ideas and new ways of working in order to create a robust and effective model to change the way that galleries should operate in the future?

    Join the Hybrid Futures partners, artists, commissioners, funders, community members and consultants for conversation and activity as we share our learning and explore together concrete actions our sector can take to create enduring and effective models of sustainable practice for galleries and museums.

    Get updates on the Hybrid Futures Symposium programme and book here:

  • Collective Futures Fourth Meeting – POWER

    Artist Hilary Powell and filmmaker Dan Edelstyn walked the Collective Futures group through their work and the motivation for POWER

    Dan and Hilary trade as Optimistic Foundation CIC, a creative and community-based organisation that focuses on shifting power and subverting power structures. Power as energy and power as financial system, taking on projects to wipe out decades of debt and galvanising communities to take direct action. Hilary and Dan use their sphere of influence to incrementally and strategically build a vision of a better future and develop strategies to resource this.

    Watch their presentation here.

  • Climate Impact Study of First Hybrid Futures Exhibition Assessed

    Hybrid Futures Climate Case Study: Leviathan: From the Forest to the Sea exhibition at Touchstones, Rochdale 3 June- 12 August 2023

    Leviathan: From the Forest to the Sea opened at Touchstones Rochdale featuring the 8th film in Shezad Dawood’s Leviathan Cycle, plus a series of physical artworks – was the first of the Hybrid Futures branded exhibitions to open. 

    As part of the Hybrid Futures project, staff at Touchstones and the team at Shezad’s studio collected as much data as they could about the energy, transport and material use associated with the exhibition. This information was then analysed by Danny Chivers, the Environmental Advisor to the project, to see what could be learned about the climate impact of the show. 

    Read the headline results in this pdf.

    Read more about Hybrid Futures and sustainabilty here.

  • Collective Futures Session 3

    A member of Collective Futures holds up a small punch of three bananas.

    For Session 3, the Collective Futures group met online. Each brought an object which holds a resonance in connection to the climate crisis and shared why it is meaningful.  Find out more and see the objects here. 


    As part of GRUNDY AT LIGHTPOOL: Neon, New Media and Natural Light Grundy Art Gallery is presenting work from Shezad Dawood and RA Walden, developed as part of Hybrid Futures.

    THE UNIVERSE IS A CLOCK(i) Schrödinger’s equation, time dependent a new co-commission by RA Walden and Island Pattern a co-acquisition by Shezad Dawood will both be on display at Grundy Art Gallery until the 16th of December.


    Grundy Art Gallery invites you to celebrate Lightpool with them at their late-night opening on Friday 20th October, where the gallery will remain open until 7pm. 

    In addition, you are invited to attend the Lightpool Creative Conference on Saturday 21st October.  Visit Eventbrite for full information and to book your free tickets.

  • Artists and Sustainability – Shezad Dawood

    A still image from Leviathan Episode 8 showing a young indigenous person in traditional dress and face paint looks into the camera. A caption included on the image reads: 'It reached the sacred alter, It reached the sacred alter".

    Every month, Castlefield Gallery publishes a Sustainability Spotlight which focuses on one of the artists they are working with.  It looks at their work and how it might relate to climate change.

    Hybrid Future artist Shezad Dawood was featured recently and you can read his thoughts here:

    “There really is a role to play for artists, galleries and art spaces to connect with and support real-world change. Not just through best practice, but by stepping out of our comfort zones and working collaboratively with individuals and collectives from other disciplines and the wider public.”  Artist Shezad Dawood

    A newly acquired work by Shezad Dawood will be shown at The Grundy along with a new commission by RA Walden as part of Lightpool from 20 October 2023.

  • Artists and Sustainability – Parham Ghalamdar

    A detailed, close up image of the top of an unglazed pot, with light blue and black glaze drips.

    Every month, Castlefield Gallery publishes a Sustainability Spotlight which focuses on one of the artists they are working with.  It looks at their work and how it might relate to climate change.

    In August, Hybrid Future artist Parham Ghalamdar was featured and you can read what he had to say here:

    “I would suggest embracing collaboration and community engagement. Collaborative projects that involve local communities and environmental organisations can amplify the impact of artistic efforts. As artists, we can facilitate workshops and discussions that encourage sustainable practices in both art creation and daily life. By fostering a sense of shared responsibility, we can collectively contribute to a more sustainable future.”  Artist Parham Ghalamdar

  • READ: Charu Vallabhbhai reviews The Poetics of Water at Castlefield Gallery in the latest of Hybrid Future’s commissioned reviews

    “Ghalamdar signals a warning in these new works while El Mal offers an alternative way. In her practice of working collectively, El Mal recognises that all her work is produced within an interdependent community. This is a reflection of the great need for cooperative will and action, globally.”

    Click here to visit Charu Vallabhbhai’s review for The Fourdrinier.

  • Artists and Sustainability

    Photograph showing Jesica El Mal's work installed at Castlefield Gallery. Three transulsent blue banners, lit by two blue lights, hang floor to celing infront of a red wall.

    Every month, Castlefield Gallery publishes a Sustainability Spotlight which focuses on one of the artists they are working with.  It looks at their work and how it might relate to climate change.

    The latest Spotlight features Hybrid Future artist Jessica El Mal and you can read her responses here:

    “Climate doom is real and it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed and hopeless. It helps to recognise that there are people doing really practical, thoughtful and amazing work, especially in the global south, and we can learn (or unlearn) things from others if we are open and respectful, and we can support by redistributing resources such as money, but also time, knowledge and access. “  Artist, Jessica El Mal

  • Check out the films and critical writing commissioned for Hybrid Futures

    A still from episode 8 of Leviathan, shows an South American indigenous man, pounding a tree with his fist, looking up at it.

    “We hear a lot more talk about Indigenous knowledge, alternate cosmologies but this was trying to locate it and to think it through as a practical as well as philosophical collective imagining of the ways we could try things differently from a social, cultural and natural perspective.” Artist Shezad Dawood on the making of Episode 8 of his Leviathan Cycle

    A series of films and critical writing that explore the Hybrid Futures exhibitions programme can be found in the exhibitions section under the relevant artist and exhibition.  There are also recordings and other assets that accompany some of our past events programme.

    Watch: Parham Ghalamdar and Jessica El Mal discuss The Poetics of Water at Castlefield Gallery

    Read: Desmond Bullen reviews The Poetics of Water for Northern Soul

    Read: Maja Lorkowska reviews The Poetics of Water for Creative Tourist

    Watch: Shezad Dawood discusses Leviathan: From the Forest to the Sea at Touchstones Rochdale

    Read: Ella Otomewo reviews Leviathan: From the Forest to the Sea for Corridor 8

    Watch: Leviathan: From the Forest to the Sea – More-Than-Human Collaborations Panel Discussion

  • Hybrid Futures Partner Wins National Green Impact Awards

    The University of Salford Art Collection were recognised at the national Green Impact awards, taking home two awards this year; innovation for Engagement and Sustainability Hero, for their continuing commitment to sustainability action and engagement.

    Green Impact is a UNESCO award-winning programme designed to support environmentally and socially sustainable practices within organisations, run internationally by SOS-UK.

    The Art Collection Team won the national Innovation for Engagement award thanks to the largest outreach and impact, international engagement and multiple stakeholders in their programmes and projects, a legacy that Hybrid Futures now seeks to build on. At the end of last year, the Team also won a Platinum Green Impact award for their sustainability efforts within the University, which have included reducing waste and energy use. 

    You can read more about the University of Salford Art Collection’s sustainability efforts and their work for Green Impact, here

  • Preview | Hybrid Futures: The Poetics of Water

    Graphic promoting The Poetics of Water at Castlefield Gallery.

    Join us to preview Castlefield Gallery’s Hybrid Futures exhibition The Poetics of Water on Thursday 22 June 2023, 6-8pm.

    The Poetics of Water features new work by Jessica El Mal and Parham Ghalamdar that is motivated by the effects of capitalism, corruption and colonialism on the natural environment. Through a series of ceramics and colour saturated oil paintings of dystopian landscapes, Ghalamdar is reflecting on a recurring theme in Persian mythology: a struggle to prevent the separation of soil and water and the repression of growth and knowledge that would cause. Ghalamdar feels this struggle is taking on an absurd tone as it gets repeated in contemporary politics without success. Alongside ongoing research into the history of climate injustice El Mal is working with field and voice recordings and developing imagery with cyanotype prints made with rainfall in Morocco. The resulting works are poetic rather than prescriptive, aiming for a more emotional and expansive experience of their subject matter. A shared point of reference for El Mal and Ghalamdar is contrasting attitudes towards rainfall; particularly between Manchester where regular rainfall is a common source of complaint and Morocco and Iran where droughts and water shortages are an increasingly serious problem. Together their works invite visitors to look across landscapes, borders and centuries and to think deeply about these fundamental elements of soil and water.

    If you would rather book a timed visit with additional restricted capacity in the gallery and enjoy our new exhibition at your own pace, you can attend our Saturday Slow Preview on 24 June 2023. This is also a chance for you to ask questions to Castlefield Gallery Curator and Deputy Director Matthew Pendergast. Refreshments will be provided.
    Book your free tickets here

  • Launching this week – Shezad Dawood: Leviathan: From the Forest to the Sea at Touchstones, Rochdale

    A promotional image showing a still image from Leviathan Episode 8, which includes the dark silhouette of a bird against an abstract dark green, maroon, and yellow background. Text on top of the image reads: 'Hybrid Futures Leviathan From the Forest to the Sea'

    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 for us to manage capacity. Without RSVP, you may not be guaranteed entry to the exhibition.

  • Coming Soon…

    Check back for our news on the planned programme of exhibitions and events.

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