Located a mere 5 minute walk from Salford city centre, Islington Mill nurtures some of Manchester’s most exciting new artistic and musical talent. Imagine an 8000 foot warehouse floor covered corner to corner with huge CMYK screen prints by artist Maurice Carlin (the Mill’s artistic director) who’s working on these prints live in the space with two webcams filming the entire process live, 24/7 for 3 whole months – pretty crazy! But from Islington Mill, you can’t really expect anything else.
The self-funded mill houses resident artists from all over of the globe, runs an academy for young artists alongside hosting some of the most talked about electronic music nights in Manchester- all in a giant ex-cotton spinning mill built in 1823! Guests have included Andy Stott, Baths and Traxx. Last year’s programme of arts events at the Mill was pretty eclectic with a combination of visual arts, music and performance. And this year’s no different! The Mill is currently housing a new piece from Bristol collective ‘WORKS|PROJECTS’ names ‘Plan For a Ruin’, a series of video, installation and mixed media works from various members of the collective, partially inspired by the Mill’s fifth attic floor. ‘Plan For a Ruin’ includes a video piece by David Wojtowycz, ‘The Lake’, which is a looped digital projection of a lighthouse. Although the camera is stationary in the projection, the subtle movements of the water on either side of the lighthouse and the slightly blurred image quality and dark edges of the shot create a strangely eerie piece. However, it is the electronically manipulated whistling that accompanies the video that truly completes this haunting piece, making the whole product an apt accompaniment to the Mill’s dingy fifth floor attic space.
Another one to look out for is Jen Wu’s ‘The Wall’ which is a piece of interactive visual art involving moving an eight metre brick wall with the help of the audience. Looking at Manchester’s rave and club scene and in particular the demolition of certain clubs, ‘The Wall’ asks us how to approach destruction and regeneration and what we can take from it – which might mean some free raves! So keep your eyes on this one.
In regards to music, the programme seems to be full of a complete mix of instruments, styles and performers. I am personally excited for the run of three gigs in mid-November starting with ‘Pharmakon’ (one to watch if you’re into sound design and machine noise), which takes place on November 19th followed by German ambient Jazz band ‘Bohren & der Club der Gore’ and, electronic artist ‘Baths’.