I met up with two local botanists who I began collaborating with last year. I wanted to discuss my project with them to gain a better understanding of where their interests lie within the subjects of botany and industry and how and if the two intertwine and interact.
Dave took a real interest in the themes of finding specimens in forgotten places; he has a particular love for searching in these places himself, for example brick pits. He also studies the findings and books of fellow botanists that worked in the same way. John Ruskin is talked about a lot by both Rob and Dave. Rob has a more all round interest and knowledge of industry and botany and the way they have shaped Manchester. He talked about Victorian Philanthropy and the introduction of Museums and galleries, becoming outreach programmes, enabling the passing spectator to pass through- learn and engage. There is a clear conscience/ deliberate introduction of this by the location of what we know now as the Manchester Art Gallery. Which later moves and merges with the Manchester museum. Rob discusses how we can relate that to a time now where we see the art scene being centralised, with the development of the trams , there is a drive aimed at the middles classes, the corner house is being renovated along with the development of the central library.
Both also tell me to look at the ecology unit in Ashton Under lyne and the grey to green project. Perhaps there are others in these organisations that would support my work and future plans to exhibit it in the location itself.
I discussed the idea of trying to organise a bio blitz in the summer, perhaps May ’14 when there may be a chance of escorted access. I feel it would be a really wonderful aspect of my work to have a varied archive of information about a place that has got so many people intrigued. We plan to stay in contact via email and perhaps meet and talk again when the project has developed more.
We also talked about the area being a thriving working class area, with a number of metal scrapyards. Idea of retaining heritage!!!!