The Poetics of Water at Castlefield Gallery

The Poetics of Water
Castlefield Gallery
25th June 2023 – 24th September 2023

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Parham Ghalamdar, Geological Yummy Candy Tectonics (2022), detail.
Parham Ghalamdar, Geological Yummy Candy Tectonics (2022), detail.

The Poetics of Water at Castlefield Gallery features new work by Jessica El Mal and Parham Ghalamdar that is motivated by the effects of capitalism, corruption and colonialism on the natural environment.

Through a series of ceramics and colour-saturated oil paintings of dystopian landscapes, Ghalamdar is reflecting on a recurring theme in Persian mythology: a struggle to prevent the separation of soil and water and the repression of growth and knowledge that would cause. Ghalamdar feels this struggle is taking on an absurd tone as it gets repeated in contemporary politics without success.

Alongside ongoing research into the history of climate injustice, El Mal is working with field and voice recordings and developing imagery with cyanotype prints made with rainfall in Morocco. The resulting works are poetic rather than prescriptive, aiming for a more emotional and expansive experience of their subject matter.

A shared point of reference for El Mal and Ghalamdar is contrasting attitudes towards rainfall; particularly between Manchester where regular rainfall is a common source of complaint and Morocco and Iran where droughts and water shortages are an increasingly serious problem. Together their works invite visitors to look across landscapes, borders and centuries and to think deeply about these fundamental elements of soil and water.