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:

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.

Collective Futures Second Meeting – 10th July 2023

A photograph of Jessica El Mal's Cyanotype images of rain presented at Castlefield Gallery.
Installation View: Jessica El Mal, Spring Rain 09.12.2022. Photography by Jules Lister.

The second introduction to Collective Futures incorporated a curator and artist-led tour of The Poetics of Water, an exhibition by Jessica El Mal and Parham Ghalamdar at Castlefield Gallery, Manchester.  Curator Matthew Pendergast situated the exhibition in the context of Castlefield Gallery’s origins as an artist-led space with a purpose of supporting artists in the North West and as part of Hybrid Futures – a pilot project which explores how artwork is cared for, collected, commissioned, acquired and transported.  Exhibiting artists, Parham Ghalamdar described the overlap between his practice and the climate collapse in terms of the existential concerns he has experienced as an asylum seeker and the fragility of democracy and life standards that could immediately change through the unfolding of political unrest or a threat to national/ individual security.  Parham spoke about his new departure into ceramics  – a material that can be both wet and dry at the same time, gloopy and solid or both dirty and beautiful. Parham hopes to reveal the ‘social, collective way to think outside the binaries’, to be conscious of our own carbon footprint and create space for conversation.

The Collective shared a meal together prepared by the Open Kitchen –  a catering company who are committed to producing food in the most sustainable and ethical way. Dinner conversation included singing the praises of domestic spiders whose webs act as natural air filters and a call to do less cleaning, Louise Bourgeois’ spiders – stitching, weaving, mending, the emergence of mosquitos specific to the London Underground, red earthworm sausages found in the Philippines, climate-aware photography, presenting data connected artistically/creatively, utopian and dystopian futures and personal and collective responsibilities.  Discussion was expansive covering the failing education system compared with the regenerative activism of children through cultivation of sphagnum moss set against play, art, culture as vehicles for learning.

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

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

© 2024 University of Salford