SPARK #11: The Future is in Your Mouth

20 May 2023 / 11-1

SPARK #11 is an eleventh in person meeting for Greater Manchester/North West-based artists who want to intervene in the trajectory towards climate breakdown, and is an opportunity to meet other artists and to share information and ideas.

Saturday 20th May 2023
11:00-13:00 : Visit to Tied to Everything Else by Chris Alton at Paradise Works, plus discussion/Q&A.
Followed by a workshop led by Chris Alton about the role that language plays in shaping our perception of the world, particularly with regard to the climate crisis.

Register at

“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe” John Muir, My First Summer in the Sierra, 1911

Tied to Everything Else brings together an array of artworks produced by Chris Alton over the last 7 years, which address the climate crisis in some way. This body of works includes; textile banners, videos, a typeface, drawings, posters, and a publication.

Whilst this exhibition’s overarching concern is the climate crisis, Chris’s works also address other phenomena to which the climate crisis is tied, including; Britain’s colonial history, neoliberal capitalism, tax avoidance, nuclear infrastructure, deluge myths, extreme weather, extinction, and migration, amongst others.

Chris Alton is an artist & curator, based in Manchester, UK. His practice spans a range of media and approaches, including; socially engaged projects, video essays, textile banners, and publications. In 2012 he founded English Disco Lovers (EDL), an anti-fascist, pro-disco group. Other projects include; Adam Speaks (With New Mouths) (2017), a neoclassical treehouse commissioned by the National Trust; and What Mortals Henceforth Shall Our Power Adore (2020), a video essay that frames the trident as a symbol of colonial intent. Each project addresses an array of interconnected social, political, economic and environmental concerns. I’m also an active member of the Quaker community and a skateboarder.

Chris was a participant in Syllabus III, an alternative, peer-led, learning programme (2017-18). Exhibitions & commissions include; Tied to Everything Else, Paradise Works, Salford (2023) The slabs whistle; a song under my wheels, KARST & Take A Part (2022); Throughout the Fragment of Infinity That We Have Come to Know, The NewBridge Project, Gateshead (2020); Link & Shift, Eastside Projects, Birmingham (2019); Survey, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art; Bluecoat, Liverpool; g39, Cardiff; & Jerwood Space, London (2018-19); Bloomberg New Contemporaries, South London Gallery; & Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool Biennial (2018-19); Adam Speaks, The National Trust, Croome, Worcestershire (2017); and Outdancing Formations, Edith-Russ-Haus, Oldenburg (2015).


SPARK #11 is kindly supported by Paradise Works and Castlefield Gallery

SPARK #11 follows on from Castlefield Gallery’s SUSTAIN programme focussed on low carbon artmaking and from our first ten SPARK sessions at Manchester Art Gallery, Rogue, The Birley (Preston), Eccles Friends Meeting House, Manchester Museum and AIR Gallery. The SPARK sessions are intended to help seed a new Greater Manchester/North West-based network of artists with low carbon practices.

Image credits

Juan Carlos Fonseca Mata: photo of Epithelial cells from oral mucosa, stained with methylene blue dye. Microscopic view 40X. Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Chris Alton: A Hollywood Film in Which Climate Change is Averted, textile banner, 2018 (photo by Anna Arca)

Chris Alton: Perhaps the Highest Service is the Feed the Plants, Risograph print, 2023