Medium: HD video
Length: 15' 01"
This work imagines bringing the derelict canals in Manchester's industrial heart back to life.
Like numerous other cities in the world, access to waterways was a necessary condition for Manchester's economic development. The completion of the Manchester Ship Canal, providing the city with an outlet to the sea, enabled it to become the first city in the world to industrialise. Modern transportation as well as deindustrialisation lead to the disuse of the canals. Today, the vast canal network crisscrossing Greater Manchester is a sort of dead zone.
Venice is probably the most famous city on water in the world. Its canals remain alive today, partially because of the activity of Venetian rowboats, gondolas, on the canals. With this in mind, the video accompanies two tourists on a Mancunian rowboat trip through the city's canals. In the past, it would have been a common daily part of life to see Manchester from the water while today, traffic on the canals introduces an incongruous element to life in the city.
The location chosen was the old Roman heart of the city, Castlefield, with its striking industrial era architecture. Several railway bridges cross Castlefield and it is the junction of the Bridgewater canal, the Rochedale canal, and the River Medlock. The outlet to the river Irwell is nearby.