Hybrid Futures: The Poetics of Water at Castlefield Gallery

Maja Lorkowska, Exhibitions Editor
Sara Benabdallah

Hybrid Futures: The Poetics of Water at Castlefield Gallery, Castlefield 25 June — 24 September 2023 Entrance is free — Visit now

Castlefield Gallery presents The Poetics of Water, a brand new exhibition featuring the work of two artists: Parham Ghalamdar and Jessica El Mal. The display is part of the Hybrid Futures project – an initiative that acts on climate change by introducing sustainability in commissioning, exhibiting and collecting art for the region.

As the title suggests, water, and particularly rainfall, is the focus of the exhibition, albeit approached in entirely different ways by the two artists.

Jessica El Mal’s multidisciplinary practice consists of research, workshops, co-curation and social interaction with a strong focus on collaboration. Her topical interests lie in ecology and care, two things that are inherently intertwined and realised through projects that aim to bring people closer to nature and green spaces, especially those with experience of migration.

The Poetics of Water, installation view of Jessica El Mal's work. Photo by Jules Lister
The Poetics of Water, installation view of Jessica El Mal’s work. Photo by Jules Lister

For The Poetics of Water she presents a new body of work in the form of cyanotypes (monochrome prints made by placing objects on a pre-prepared light-sensitive surface). The artist exposed light-sensitive surfaces to rainfall in Morocco which are exhibited alongside field recordings and poetry. Morocco regularly experiences periods of drought and water shortages which El Mal is bringing attention to, especially in contrast to the common Western view that rain is something of a nuisance.

Parham Ghalamdar, Untitled (2022-2023). Photo by Jules Lister
Parham Ghalamdar, Untitled (2022-2023). Photo by Jules Lister

Parham Ghalamdar (whose work you may have recently seen at HOME), creates paintings, ceramics and media works. He studied MA in painting at Manchester School of Art, specialising in oil painting but also has a background in graffiti. He’s recently also ventured into the digital realm by creating animations and enlisting the help of AI.

In The Poetics of Water, you will find his signature vibrant, slightly cartoonish painted works as well as ceramics depicting dystopian landscapes. In this particular set of works, the artist focuses on a recurring theme in Persian mythology: the struggle to prevent the separation of soil and water and the repression of growth and knowledge that this causes. Ghalamdar delights in and spotlights the absurd, so for him this dichotomy finds its reflection in the current conversations around the climate crisis, as the world struggles to come together to create meaningful change.

Hybrid Futures project is created in collaboration with Grundy Art Gallery in Blackpool, Touchstones Rochdale, University of Salford Art Collection and Shezad Dawood Studio.

Hybrid Futures: The Poetics of Water at Castlefield Gallery, Castlefield 25 June — 24 September 2023 Entrance is free Visit now

What's on at Castlefield Gallery

Where to go near Hybrid Futures: The Poetics of Water at Castlefield Gallery

Deansgate
Music venue
Rebellion

Live music and 4am club night venue Rebellion provides a rock heavy alternative with smatterings of bass, across from Deansgate Locks.

Castlefield
Restaurant
The Deansgate

The Deansgate is located in the heart of Manchester. A traditional pub with homemade food and real ales, this is truly one of the greatest watering holes in Manchester.

Deansgate
Bar or Pub
Cloud 23

Manchester’s Cloud 23, the cocktail bar siting proud on the 23rd floor of the Beetham Tower, boasts unparalleled views across the city.

Castlefield
Bar or Pub
Atlas Bar

Situated in the railway arches of Deansgate, Atlas is an elegant, quality bar specialising in nearly 600 gins from around the world.

Manchester
Bar or Pub
The Briton’s Protection

Standing on the corner of a junction opposite The Bridgewater Hall, The Briton’s Protection is Manchester’s oldest pub. It has occupied the same spot since 1795, going under the equally patriotic name The Ancient Britain.

Manchester
Restaurant
Indian Tiffin Room, Manchester

Indian Tiffin Room is a restaurant specialising in Indian street food, with branches in Cheadle and Manchester. This is the information for the Manchester venue.

The Life Centre North
City Centre
Event venue
The Life Centre North

The Life Centre, just off Deansgate in Manchester, is a place which offers yoga and Pilates classes for people of all abilities. 

What's on: Exhibitions

Culture Guides

Rebecca Watson author photo
Literature Events in Manchester and the North

In between working out, then working through, your holiday reading pile this summer, find inspiration for your next bookish acquisitions from our selection of live events and exhibitions.