Irwell Sculpture Trail

The Irwell Sculpture Trail follows the 30-mile length of the River Irwell from the West Pennine Moors to Manchester City Centre, and is the largest and most ambitious public sculpture project in Europe.
Jill Randall was commissioned in 2000 to create a major site-specific sculpture for a riverbank site adjacent to an industrial estate. Randall was able to develop her interest in the nature of time expressed through process on material, in alchemy, and in Art and Science.
Ideas for the form and content of the sculpture were developed from a year-long Residency at Magnesium Elektron, a magnesium-processing factory on the Clifton Industrial Estate. The Residency involved research into the origins , qualities and manufacturing processes of magnesium, and the casting and recycling processes employed by the factory. Ideas focussed on sacrificial anodes which prevent corrosion in steel, and so “arrest time”.
As part of the commission, Randall introduced an innovative approach to public engagement,
setting up her studio within the factory for 18 months and allowing the workforce open access to her working processes, and consulting and collaborating directly with employees to develop ideas for the sculpture.
The resultant sculpture”Arresting Time”, is a major work fabricated in steel, copper, brass, stainless steel and magnesium.

Reviews: “Sculpture” magazine, April 2004,  pp 22-23.
Inclusion in book ,“Public Sculpture of Greater Manchester”-Public Sculpture of Britain .Vol. 8 by Terry Wyke, pp 275, 458, 170, 196-7.

Funding : National Lottery through Arts Council North West, Lancashire County Council, Bury Metro, City of Salford and the Borough of Rossendale.

Photography: Jill Randall and David Bennett.