Make Your Marks
2016 - 2018
#SWINGIEST #FLOATIEST #MAKEYOURMARKS
Knitters and crocheters from across Salford have taken up their needles to brighten up the Bridgewater Canal and take a fresh look at heritage – domestic meets industrial heritage. Artist and expert knitter Rachael Elwell (ArtYarn) has created unique designs inspired by the patterns and shapes that can be found along the canal – the stone masons’ marks, the architecture and the landscape. Rachael has delivered workshops in Salford to teach people the art of Fair Isle Knitting to local residents.
Over 2,000 knitted and crocheted squares have been sewn together by volunteers on to 4ft high giant letters which have been installed on the canal bank. These local knitters have dedicated hours of time, lots of enthusiasm and endless cups of tea to the task! The finished artworks were installed from October 2016 to August 2018 as a temporary features in Barton Aqueduct Pocket Park on top of Brindley's original stone aqueduct acting as a link to the stonemasons' marks below but also highlighting the other feat of canal engineering that is the Barton Swing Aqueduct (#SWINGIEST), and at the Bridgewater Marina, Boothstown (#FLOATIEST).
At the time the orginal stone aqueduct was built in 1761 no-one had ever attempted to carry water in a canal over water in a river. It seemed like madness but but the Duke of Bridgewater’s engineer, James Brindley believed in it and the labourers and stonemasons he employed made it happen.The stone aqueduct was demolished in 1893 to make way for bigger ships on the Manchester Ship Canal and the Barton Swing Aqueduct was built to carry the Bridgewater Canal over the Ship Canal. The aqueduct was and is the world’s first and only bridge to swing open while keeping hold of its water.
The finished installations '#SWINGIEST' and '#FLOATIEST' create a unique tribute to the canal by bringing local people together to make new friends learn new skills, take a fresh look at their heritage and create a vibrant piece of art to capture people’s interest.
We are grateful to The Booth Charities for providing additional funding for this project.
Make Your Marks - A Fair Isle knitting pattern book, inspired by the Salfords unique industrial heritage with simple step-by step instructions to guide you. This book was commissioned as part of ArtYarns 2 year project with the local community. Contemporary, practical, beautiful knitted items for you to transform your wardrobe, teapots and technology. All knitting patterns were designed by Rachael Elwell.
You can download a free pdf copy of the book HERE
Hard copies are available to purchase direct from The Bridge Water Canal Project Team
Copies of this book have also been added to a selection of galleries and museums around Greater Manchester.