Inside Out Project Proposal

manchester_england_micheleselway_?????????Archiving the archivists (working title)


As I stand looking at the Castlefield Viaduct ( an abandoned bridge in the city centre) I see a transformative space. An image of a past that can now be grasped only in its present decay. I hope to engage the public in the reflective semantics of ‘pastness’. Creating a new collection of images printed onto something other than paper that incorporate textures and smells, embrace the colours of rust and decay, the scars of time. Photography allows me to respond to a place in a spontaneous way. I thrive on the element of inherent serendipity of taking photos, allowing the process to be one which progresses through the interaction of the subject and the process in which they are developed and printed.
As I look deeper into these themes and processes, I ask myself what my personal connection is to the work? I feel a barrier sometimes when I walk into a gallery or exhibition. There is an expectation to respond to traditional ideas of art. In contrast, when I find a place or an object in a quotidian environment, one that hasn’t been framed or lit, I am the first person to view it. I, as the artist, am able to respond and/ or ignore, with no one looking over my shoulder or across the room. I can touch, smell and interact confidently. I want to bring some of this interaction into this project.
My proposed plan is to create an installation of my images, taken of the train enthusiasts, directly onto the viaduct’s tubular steel legs, providing a different way of looking at the location and images.
I have been in contact with a friend of mine Karen Whiteread, a photographer who has just completed a photo mural, on a hospital building in North London, as part of the Inside Out art project Her work inspired me to participate here in Manchester. A city which I feel is lacking outside art. The processes I plan to use for my printing will be influenced by my ongoing practice of practice of printing onto metal. I have some clear ideas of what I want visually for my installation piece; however the work I will produce alongside this will develop in response to the installation and the collaborations with the society members. I am interested in the idea of an exchange of images as a social event and the physicality and rarity of the images and specimens that the societies are collecting and achieving, which makes them so precious.

By doing this I feel I am not only engaging people in local history, I am drawing attention to the rituals and importance of this time consuming exercise of categorizing and achieving collections that the members of these societies worry people will grow tired of in the not too distant future. I intend to present documentation of my work in progress, at an open evening at the Manchester Museum in April and at my future exhibitions in Manchester, spreading the pr


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