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News article created on 14 March 2014

Rubbish canal art created

Artists and local residents have teamed up to create new works of art from rubbish dumped in a Manchester canal.

The project is part of the clean-up, by volunteers and staff of a 200-metre stretch of the Rochdale Canal in Newton Heath. It aims to increase awareness of the problem of rubbish thoughtlessly dumped in the historic waterway. 

Called ‘Art Dredge’ and funded by Arts Council England, the project will see three professional artists working alongside local community groups to turn discarded shopping trollies, bikes and other debris into new works of art.  An exhibition of the works will be launched in Manchester’s Piccadilly Place on Thursday 22 May.

‘Art Dredge’ is being delivered by not-for-profit Spearfish Workshops, in partnership with the Canal & River Trust and local community groups. As well as being unsightly, rubbish can create hazards for boats navigating the canal, and pose a real threat to wildlife.

Wonderful sculptures

Walter Menzies, chairman of the Canal & River Trust’s Manchester & Pennine Partnership said: “This is a fantastic project working with the local community to highlight the problem of rubbish that’s ending up in the canal and spoiling the environment.  We have no idea what we might find so it will be interesting to see what is at the bottom of the canal and see the artists create some wonderful sculptures.

“The Rochdale Canal is a real asset for the city, the people and the wildlife of Manchester – but only if we all look after it.  We hope this project gets people to stop and think about what they do with their rubbish, and what an amazing city we have.”

Spearfish Workshops director Ben Reed, adds: “We were so pleased when we were awarded the grant for this project. I live in the city centre and I am consistently shocked by the amount of rubbish that ends up in the canal. This is a perfect partnership. The Canal & River Trust has all the technical know-how and community links and Spearfish have links with artists and experience putting on high profile exhibitions.’’ 

For more information about ‘Art Dredge’ visit the facebook page https://www.facebook.com/theartdredge