Not Quite Light Festival returns to Salford (28-31 March) reflecting on cities, regeneration, art, music and performance in a weekend of events.
Curated by artist Simon Buckley, NQL returns for its third year, with 30 events at 12 venues and locations across Salford. The weekend the clocks go forward, the festival uses the time of dawn and dusk as a moment of inspiration for reflection and ideas. With newly commissioned work by artists, musicians, historians and filmmakers alongside walks, tours, talks and workshops, the festival focuses on Salford as a place of change and regeneration, and uses this to ask how our cities are changing, from a range of perspectives.
The weekend includes a walk to record sounds at dusk, a film screening projected on the back of a sofa, walks along the River Irwell, an opportunity for children to dream the city of the future and a question on how the way we light our cities is affecting our daily lives.
Events relating specifically to photography include:
Night School, Saturday 30 March, 6pm, Five Four Studios, £12
Award-winning photographer and sound artist Thurston Thomson will take you out at dusk to record the world as it fades to darkness, and then share their pro tips to get the best out of your images and sound recording.
Artists' Talks: Liam Spencer and Clare Archibald, Saturday 30 March, 11am, Five Four Studios, £6
Join urban landscape photographer Liam Spencer and photographer, writer and poet Clare Archibald to hear them discuss their work. Each will give a 45 minute talk, exploring their inspirations and creative process.
Artists' Talks: Lauren Sagar and Al Brydon, Sunday 31 March, 11am, Five Four Studios, £6
Join political artist Lauren Sagar and solargraph artist Al Brydon to hear them discuss their work. Each will give a 45-minute talk, exploring their inspirations and creative process.
Space of Doglessness, Sunday 31 March, 11am-4.30pm, Peel Part & Salford Museum and Art Gallery Cafe, FREE
Are you a dog owner? Walking the dog can change the way you interact with the space you’re in, not least because of the conversations that you often strike up with strangers. Clare Archibald will be showing her stills and moving image piece Space of Doglessness on a loop. The docupoem explores permissions to public spaces such as beaches and parks, the gendered implications of this and the impact that dog ownership has on both perceptions of use of and access to space.
Other Festival highlights include:
Beneath These Tarmac Cracks - World Premiere - Friday 29 March, 7.30pm, Five Four Studios, £12.50
A play specially commissioned for NQL 2019 with music written by Bruntwood Prize finalist, Joshua Val Martin and sound artist, Daniel Mawson, Beneath These Tarmac Cracks tells the story of a Salfordian woman, born in 1913, who has developed a regenerative neurological disease that makes her vividly remember every second of her life. Are there some things better left forgotten?
Hauntology, Thursday 28 March, 8pm, The White Hotel, £6.50
The NQL 2019 festival gets off to an amazing start, with a night of music, light and sound performed by artists exploring our haunted city of unresolved pasts and unrealised futures. It’s a unique event that will stay with you for a long time, as it plays with your mind and senses.HAUNTOLOGY will feature artists Wilderness Hymnal, Black Lodge, Sean Clarke, Xavier Velastin, Zirkus, Ruby Tingle and Simon Woolham. And, to end the night, the excellent LoneLady will be performing a DJ set. In association with HAUNT Manchester at Manchester Metropolitan University,
Dark Borders, Friday 29 March, 10-11.55 pm, Greengate Square, £8
Led by author and academic Nick Dunn, this Night Walk will ask "What is a border?". What happens when the identity of places become smudged? By exploring the two cities of Salford and Manchester at night we can experience how time becomes elastic and the nature of space changes.
Heart and Soul, Saturday 30 March, 7.30pm until late, Five Four Studios, £9 (£5 for after party only)
Dave Haslam and The Option (Paris) perform their ambient soundscape ‘Breathless’ live for the first time in the UK - with an accompanying live video created by Donna Jevens - alongside sets by spoken word performers Eve Piper, Karl Hildebrandt, and Kieren King, and acoustic singer/songwriter Evie Russell. Utilising Dave Haslam’s heartbeat, together with found sounds, disembodied voices, and effects and weirdness galore, it’s an intense and overwhelming experience.The night concludes with ‘Salfrica’, a one-off club night of Afro-flavoured house and disco with DJs Levi Love and Selina Nongaliphe Oliphant (aka SNO).
The Dark City, Saturday 30 March, 2-4pm, Five Four Studio, £6
“THE DARK CITY” will see a panel discussion and performances from poets and authors Kate Feld, Emily Oldfield, Nick Royle, Rosie Garland, Steve Marland and Anne Beswick. They will explore the darker side of the city as an inspiration for crime novels, the gothic and film noir.
Lighting our Lives, Saturday 30 March, 11am-1pm, Five Four Studios, £6
This will be a fascinating talk by experts from Arup and a leading Manchester architecture practice on how we use artificial light – Light plays a vital role in our lives, affecting how behave and feel. They’ll be discussing how a human centered approach to urban lighting can create a truly 24hr city.
Exploring Victorian Salford, Sunday 31 March, 2-4pm, Five Four Studios, £6
An afternoon exploring the Salford's Victorian architecture from two different points of view. Salford underwent extraordinary change during the Industrial Revolution, and the Victorians built a new city. Historian John Garrard will discuss the social and economic factors that inspired the architecture of the Victorian era, and that ultimately has led to its demise as a fresh city is built in the 21st Century. Urban explorer Matt Holmes enters abandoned buildings and records the decay of these once grand structures, often at great risk.
Director and artist Simon Buckley says, “I'm fascinated by Salford, the city I live in and, as an artist, it's impossible not to respond to the transition of the streets around me, as the pace of regeneration causes such rapid change. I'm out at dawn as it's so magical, a time of possibility and beauty. I often feel as if I've stepped through the back of a wardrobe, and I never tire of seeing the new day emerge from the darkness. The festival will be held on the weekend that the clocks go forward, the official start of summertime. It allows us to reflect and to consider where we are in our world, and what we want from the city in which we live. The artists and performers that I've brought together are there, as always, to provide us with inspiration, to begin a conversation. The reason I do this is because of the magic that happens in the half light.”