This Thursday 29th November, Who’s That Girl? is launching at Salford Museum and Art Gallery, Peel Park.

The free event will give attendees the opportunity to hear some more information about the project and meet the artists involved. Starting from 6pm until 8pm.

Led by artist Sally Gilford, the exhibition will explore the history of the Bridgewater Canal, Salford, and the women lost in its history to celebrate their contribution to the canal.

Joe Smith Photography


Sally’s work explores the connections between art and science, using code and bio-data to produce patterns and prints at >thread{} collective with Vicky Clarke and Cheryl O’Meara who are also involved in the project. She is currently based at Islington Mill with Salford Makers.

To create the products for the exhibition the artists have used data from the vocals of Jennifer Reid, a Manchester-based broadside ballad singer, to produce print designs. Jennifer performs 19th Century broadside ballads and Lancashire industrial work songs. She has written a new ballad specifically for the project and will be doing a one-off performance at the event launch tonight.

Sally and her fellow artists use technology to transform Jennifer’s voice into code which creates an image.

The image has been printed onto fabric and has also been etched into silver to create jewellery.

Kate Charnock is the event organiser, who said “Salford has always been famous for making things.

“Stories about women in the history of the canal are so few and far between.”

The Bridgewater Canal has a huge history of industrialism, most of which is about men. The exhibition will showcase artwork which has been created based on research into the women involved in the canal’s past.

The Bridgewater Canal, opened in 1761, is the first man-made canal in the world. Kate works hard to express the history of the canal and has been successful in doing so through working with Sally. Preparation for the exhibition began six months ago, when Kate and Sally met.

Kate said: “Sally was really interested in the archives about the canal.

“She has met lots of people with information about Bridgewater Canal and has visited museums.

“The research has informed the artwork.”

This research will also be available to the public, who can find it in a booklet provided at the exhibition. It was also be on the EST.1761 website, according to Kate.

Kate said the exclusive products will be available to purchase from Salford Museum and Art Gallery.

“It’s a piece of contemporary research to take home.”

The kind of art on display will be in the form of jewellery, silk scarves, aprons and tea towels.

There are also four sold-out Who’s That Girl? workshops running throughout December. Here Sally will teach her methods and skills to make jewellery, cushions and screen prints, similar to the items on display.

There is no specific date for the exhibition to finish, so be sure to catch it before the end of January to guarantee you don’t miss out on this exciting event.

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