Islington Mill Studios

Visual Arts Events

MIRL image browsing

MIRL image browsing

Open discussion group with Erica Scourti

Sat 20th September, 3-5pm 5th floor, Islington Mill, James Street, Salford, M5 4DE

Most of us store our photographs online; on Facebook, Flikr, Instagram, cloud storage or otherwise dematerialised on hard disks. MIRL (Meet In Real Life) image browsing is an invitation from Erica Scourti, #temporarycustodians artist in residence, to bring along albums or boxes of loose printed photos, to spend the afternoon browsing your offline archives for ‘similar images’.

This RL browsing process is the latest stage in Erica’s project So Like You, commissioned to be shown at Brighton Photo Biennial and The Photographers’ Gallery. "Scourti begins her investigation by uploading her personal archive of scanned photographs, letters, flyers and other ephemera to Google’s reverse image search engine for analysis. Using pattern recognition algorithms, she discovered other photographers who have shared images with a similar visual footprint ‘just like hers’". MIRL image browsing rematerialises this collectively produced 'similar' network of images.


#temporarycustodians, is an R&D project asking how the shift towards the share economy, collaborative commons and peer-to-peer distribution might constitute an alternative to historical modes of public and private collecting. Artists in residence during 2014 Stefania Batoeva, Josephine Callaghan, Susanna Davies-Crook, Gery Georgieva,and Erica Scourti are based at Regents Trading Estate, an 8000 sqft warehouse in Salford, in the NW of England.

#temporarycustodians is a distributed conversation, piggy backing via profiles on peer-to-peer and share economy sites such as Streetbank and Airbnb. It is initiated by artist Maurice Carlin, curator Helen Kaplinsky and nearby Islington Mill, a leading independent, interdisciplinary arts organisation, advocating for artists working in an ever-changing social and cultural landscape.

Free for Arts Festival

LAUNCH: Sunday 28th September: Time TBC

Free for Arts Festival returns for another year to Islington Mill along with many other venues. This year we are delighted to welcome exhibiting artists:

Jane Lawson
Sandra Bouguerch
& Lucy Harvey

The title of the exhibition is 'Unstuffed'.
And the work is mixed media and participatory installation.

Exhibition continues until 12th october 2014, times TBC.

'The Wall' - Jen Wu

Due to the nature of this artwork and its dependence on urban regeneration schedules, the dates are to be confirmed. 

Location: Chapel Street at the former site of The Old Bank Theatre (at the corner of Islington Street). Reconstruction 100 meters east next to Ye Old Nelson pub.

Part 1 - Stablisation of The Old Bank Theatre wall to stay freestanding as the surrounding architecture comes down.

Part 2 - Demolition rave of mass dismantling scored by Gnod/Gesamkuntswerk and guests.

Part 3 - Reconstruction rave with open participation featuring protagonists of the music and club scenes circa 1989 and 2011, the summers of love and riots.

The Wall is a work by American artist Jen Wu, developed in collaboration with Islington Mill as part of a long-term residency beginning in early 2012 based on the intertwined histories of Mancunian rave and regeneration as told by the demolition of its nightclubs. Meditating on a relationship between parties, dematerialisation and social empowerment, it proposes an event of political resisitance and communal identity in the form of a land art rave action. It is to move a wall. 

Admist the transformation of Chapel Street, a row of buildings will come down. But by agreement with Salford City Council, one 8m high brick wall will remain. Comprised entirely of brick, its manual dismantlying and reconstruction through a series of public participatory events will form the architecture and duration for a series of free-party 'raves.' 

Materialising a relationship expressed of music as the monument of the diasporic and the displaced. The Wall seeks to connect the euphoric DIY spirit of '88-89' with its evolution in 2013 as a means to precipitate a coming together of disparate people and communities - to together effect a collective monument in the urban built landscape. Once resurrected, The Wall will stay for three years until development of the site begins.


Islington Mill regularly collaborates with arts organisations, festivals and galleries in the North West to support the development and delivery of artist's projects. Past collaborators have include, University of Salford, Quarantine theatre company, Centre For Chinese Contemporary Art, AND Festival, Asia Triennial, Littoral Trust, FutureEverything and International 3



We offer residencies to visiting artists, providing accommodation (in our artist led Bed and Breakfast), studio space and exhibition space independently under Islington Mill Arts Club and with partner organisations. 

Each residency provides a unique contribution to our artistic programme, including artistic talks, exhibitions and performances sharing with the public, local artists and our tenants an insight into our work. Often artists that develop work at Islington Mill early on in their career or mid-career, are offered further opportunties through our networks of arts organisations and artists.

Highlghts include Brooklyn based performance artists, feline lovers and glitter addicts CHERYL who took us on a glitter fuelled dance party journey which lead up to their culminative event Royal Ruckus. We have also taken part in Flux Factory NYC Exchange, done an international exchange with La Escocesa Studios in Barcelona with artist Diego Mallo, ran an open call residency with artist David Wojtowycz and hosted a month long residency with Volkov Commanders which led up to ORBIT-A Show in Seven Parts

Islington Mill Art Academy

Islington Mill Art Academy is a free self-organised Art School that is actively engaged in the Mill's visual arts programme, regularly collaborating with visiting artists. It was set up in 2007 by a group of art foundation students, dissatisfied with the quality and standards in University fine art courses open to them at that time. A number of founding members of the group had been familar with the Mill and decided that the array of creative practitioners, events and performances that happened there provided the perfect backdrop for the project. 

The Academy exist to experiment wtih what an education in art can be, where it can take place and how it can be paid for. It is open to anyone who would like to be an artist and who is interested in taking responsibility for, and direction of the way in which they intend to do this. The artists in the group take all of the decisions related to their personal learning process and put these decisions into practice themselves. 

Past collaborators include Bik Van Der Pol, Caner Aslan, Pippa Koszerek and Martin Holman.