Islington Mill is a leading independent UK arts organisation based in Salford, in the NW England. Structured around an organic network of independent artists, Islington Mill runs innovative inter-disciplinary public arts programmes and artist residencies alongside studio spaces and an artists’ B&B. Drawing on the radical and subversive creative energy running through its arts activities, Islington Mill also has a reputation for putting on legendary experimental gatherings, events and parties.
Based in the evocative buildings and courtyard of a former Victorian mill, Islington Mill is a unique and inspiring environment where the architecture of industrial Britain is fused with the creative energy of industrious artists at work and at play.
Founded by Bill Campbell in 2000, who bought it after spending four years developing the project and raising the initial finance, Islington Mill is the product of a singular dream to form a network of artists around the shared goal of living and working as freely and creatively as possible.
Like the Hacienda before it, Islington Mill is organised along similar principles inspired by the Situationist movement, an avant-garde European art movement formed in the fifties and sixties that became a prototype of punk. Picking up where the former left off, Islington Mill has a similar focus of creating an open-source environment outside of conventional structures and art traditions that can act as a catalyst for “the creative act” in all its many forms and unlock the inner artist in almost anyone.
Currently run by designer Bill Campbell, musician Mark Carlin and visual artist Maurice Carlin, Islington Mill is a non-hierarchical organisation that makes no distinction between work and play, outcome and process, chaos and control. Operating outside a commercial, profit-led agenda, it is a genuinely independent arts organisation that puts nurturing, supporting and inspiring creativity, especially new and emerging talent, at the heart of everything it does.
Forged in the spirit of D-I-Y, it recognises risk-taking and experimentalism in a non-judgmental, non-pressured environment as integral to art practice and is able to offer artists an unusual level of creative freedom in an increasingly market-led cultural landscape.
Although Islington Mill is predominantly focussed around the physical space in Salford, it recently organised its first “mass residency” with thirty artists in Ibiza and now plans to take the spirit of Islington Mill on tour elsewhere, building on existing links starting this October with an exchange with Flux Factory NYC.
Not content with stopping at these achievements, Islington Mill is continuously seeking to progress in its mission to inspire, educate and develop artists in their careers in an ever-changing social and cultural landscape.
Islington Mill was very pleased to have recieved its first ever ACE programme funding in the history of its organisation earlier in 2013, which will be used towards testing new strategies for residencies and developing its marketing and organisational structure.
As part of this forward-looking strategy, Islington Mill is excited about the opportunity to develop it's 6th floor space into further B&B style bedrooms and its 5th floor space into a dedicated artist residency space.
However further funding is still needed for Islington Mill to realise its full potential and so it is constantly exploring funding sources and income streams that will allow it to maintain its unique vision for the arts into the future.
To this end, Islington Mill has also secured Arts Council Catalyst funding, in consortium with the Chinese Arts Centre, this fund helps arts organisations access private funding by exploring how relationships can be formed with patrons and other independent sources.
Islington Mill is now to an exciting future that is global and ambitious. With the right funding in place, it hopes to be responsible for sending local artists out onto international residencies, while receiving incoming international artists in order to realise its full potential as a dynamic international arts hub and creative interchange.
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