In 2018 after founding Salford Makers CIC, I was awarded funding to set up a co-run makers retail space in Salford to commission artists from the Islington Mill community.
I negotiated with a local property developer to use one of their empty showhome spaces which along with other artists, we transformed the space into a SHOP which was occupied for 6 months.
In addition to over 25 artists and makers benefiting from the commissioning program and gaining the opportunity to develop new products and designs, another aim of this project was to create a public facing space for artists to build connections to local businesses and people that live in the area, I also wanted to encourage residents to find out more about the importance of shopping locally from independent traders.
Creating a space in an area that was currently lacking in a sense of community and creativity was also an important element of this project, socially engaging with others through face to face interactions and conversation improved the visibility of the artist community and the important role they play in this area of the city.
SHOP was run by contributing artists in exchange for a reduction in commission taken on sales and was an absolute success, bringing together lots of different skills and experience to create something that I was really proud of.
Photography by Joe Smith