Cross over the River Irwell, and you’ll find yourself in another city entirely – Salford. You’ll barely feel the transition, though; despite locals who are fierce about the fact that Salford is a city in its own right, it’s only separated from Manchester by the width of the river, distance-wise. Which is not to say that you won’t see differences between the two.
Gritty urban realism has been this city’s stock in trade since L.S. Lowry painted his very first matchstick man. Some will have read about it in Love on the Dole. Some will have seen it depicted in kitchen sink dramas or Corrie. And others will forever associate the city with John Cooper Clarke rasping his way through ‘Evidently Chickentown’, or the dystopian anthems of Joy Division.
Now, however, Salford has an up-and-coming feel; the Chapel Street area of the city, the focus of an ongoing regeneration project, is home to a creative community including Hot Bed Press and over 100 artists and 50 innovative businesses at Islington Mill. If you’re visiting around May, look out for the highlight of Salford’s strong music scene, Sounds from the Other City festival, which brings an incendiary mix of live bands, literary readings and art hi-jinks to an eclectic selection of venues.
The Council-run Salford Museum and Art Gallery is a friendly city museum with special appeal to families, and the nearby Working Class Movement Library provides a fascinating look at the past. The personal collection of labour historians Ruth and Edmund Frow, it’s a veritable treasure trove of material dating back to the 1760s. Ordsall Hall, the city’s beautifully restored (and supposedly haunted) Tudor mansion, has a busy programme of events and activities all year round, including events as part of horror film festival Grimmfest.
Salford inspires fierce loyalty among its inhabitants. Spend any significant period of time here, and you may begin to understand why.
To mark its 250th birthday, the Royal Academy of Arts in London has launched a nationwide programme of exhibitions, displays, tours, talks and one-off events. Here we take a look at what’s going on in Salford – home of RA LS Lowry and now a growing independent art scene.
Salford’s Sounds from the Other City festival showcases the best of new and avant-garde music, arts and performance.
Join Head of Collections at the Royal Academy, Maurice Davis, for a fascinating look at some of the most remarkable items included in the world-renowned institution’s vast collection. Presented at Salford Museum & Art Gallery.
Salford Museum & Art Gallery and Ordsall Hall delve into their collections to present a two-part exhibition featuring significant prints, drawings and sculptures by former Royal Academicians as part of a nationwide programme marking the institution’s 250th birthday.
Join one of The Lowry’s gallery interpreters as they walk you through the collection in more detail, highlighting new works as they are added.
Step into the crafty haven of Salford Makers and learn the basic techniques of gel plate printing to create prints onto fabric, paper and card stock.
Design and print your own marbled textures in this evening workshop at Salford Makers.
Create your own bespoke T-shirt or tote bag using lofi screen printing methods with a helping hand from Salford Makers.
Learn to basic jewellery techniques, screen printing, plywood laser cutting and macramé all in one workshop! With this screen printed jewellery workshop from Salford Makers.
Distorted Constellations at Caustic Coastal is an immersive sensory environment inspired by artist Nwando Ebizie’s interpretation of the rare neurological disorder ‘Visual Snow’ and her own neuro-divergency.