Previous AA2A Artist

Mary Wardle

Project summary:

The printing blocks for this series of collograph prints (Surface I-VIII) were made from debris found in the mill buildings of Ancoats, Manchester, and taken from rubbings made of the structural surfaces of the mills themselves.

Dereliction is far from being a state of degradation within our urban environment. It presents us with a unique opportunity to revisit a history we have chosen to preserve, its burgeoning richness made more apparent with each layer peeled back through the process of weathering and erosion.

Preservation is a selective endeavour, often destroying the history it is designed to conserve. Not all the stories locked away in the peeling surface layers will have a place in the future.

The intention of these prints is to preserve surfaces that will be, or already have been, discarded. The tales these surfaces have to tell may be simple and lack status within the eyes of the conservator, but they are as intriguing and rich as those surfaces lucky enough to have been selected for a continued life within the fabric of Ancoats.


Surface II by Mary Wardle. Photo the artist.

Collograph print, 21cm x 27cm