• 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

    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".

    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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