Interview with Natalie Bradbury, The Shrieking Violet blog – July 2013
The Wall is an artwork initiated by Jen Wu and has been in development since early 2012. A wall needed to be found – a brick wall due for demolition – and in late 2012, discussions began for the Old Bank Theatre and Chapel Street, Salford to be the site of the work. Over 2013, negotiations have been taking place with English Cities Fund (the agency delivering Salford’s regeneration), Urban Vision (the agency managing building and demolition on behalf of the Council) and Salford City Council. It was a complex negotiation, however, in August 2013, with the support of Bagnall UK (the demolition contractor), an agreement was reached for phase one of The Wall.
And now The Wall is happening.
Jan 2012: Conception of The Wall
| Mar 2012: Jen moves to Manchester and begins long-term ‘residency’ with Islington Mill
| developing the narrative through research and conversation
| scouting walls in Salford and Manchester
| documenting demolitions
| consultations on brickwork and practical feasibility
| initial funding applications
| Jan 2013
| negotiations for The Old Bank Theatre to be the site of The Wall
| site studies
| sounding out and building a local network of support
| ongoing negotiations
| scouting potential alternative walls/sites
| historical research
| given the go-ahead and logistical planning commences
| Aug 2013: demolition process on the overall site begins
| 3-8 Sept 2013: on-site preparation for labeling bricks
| 9-13 Sept 2013: labeling bricks 1-3,000 on the cherrypicker
| 13 Sept 2013: site closes temporarily
| numbering resumes
| demolition of the wall as part of planned regeneration works
| cleaning mortar off bricks
| stacking and storing bricks
| ongoing series of community-driven events between demolition and reconstruction
| THE WALL NEEDS YOUR INPUT
| Public events will be held throughout the next stages. At each event, it is intended that the bricks will be handed out gradually for ‘looking after’ – to be brought back for the reconstruction event in 2015.
The culmination of The Wall aka RECONSTRUCTION ‘rave’ next to Ye Old Nelson pub. The bricks come back and The Wall is reconstructed brick by brick and number by number – with The Wall rebuilt as an OPEN PUBLIC EVENT by the hands of an open community – with The Wall to stand as it has stood for nearly the last 100 years
Once rebuilt, The Wall will remain on Chapel Street for another three years until development on the site begins.