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Who's That Girl?

So much of the heritage of the Bridgewater Canal is about men. It makes you wonder - where were the women?

Est.1761 commissioned Salford Makers, led by artist Sally Gilford to seek out the hidden and neglected stories of those women in the Bridgewater Archive Collections. Sally has sought inspiration from the archive’s fascinating documents and information – photographs, maps, letters and other interesting artefacts.

The Bridgewater Canal has a strong history of people making things - things that enabled the industrial growth of the waterway like baskets, nails, sails and also things that could be made and sold because it provided a new way of transporting goods. In a nod to this heritage of making, the project has culminated in a new limited edition collection of work made in response to Sally’s research. 

Salford is rooted in invention, innovation and experimentation – something, which is very much reflected in Who’s That Girl? as Salford Makers have collaborated to make this body of new work. 

Sally commented, “The development of the research, through to concept and development of the final work has been an fascinating journey.  I have gained so much knowledge about the heritage of the Bridgewater canal and had the opportunity to work with some really interesting people, archives and collections.

“This commission has encouraged the exploration of unexpected cross art form practice.  Working with other female makers to tell the stories of hidden women, whilst combining processes has added a dynamic take on heritage and traditional craft and making” 

Jennifer Reid, pre-eminent broadside balladress of the Manchester region, composed a ballad as part of the commission. Her vocals have been captured and translated into print designs using code and generative code with <Thread{ } collective who also form part of Salford Makers.

This new work will be exclusively available to buy from Salford Museum & Art Gallery from Thursday 29th November and features a range of porcelain and silver art jewellery, one of a kind textiles including velvet cushions, pit brow lass inspired aprons and lampshades all displayed in unique furniture curated by Stockyard North Salvage.

You can read more about the concepts, ideas and artists featured in Who's That Girl? by downloading the document below.

Image courtesy of Salford Local History Archive.

Who's That Girl?