Sandwiched between the developer orgy that is Middlewood Locks and Carpino Place, a little bit of old industrial Salford remains in the form of Regents Trading Estate.
Here, there's units struggling for elbow room as the brash, sterile, money mountains of luxury apartments and houses muscle in, with only money motoring a shallow existence. On the Oldfield Road front of the Trading Estate, in an old unit, Caustic Coastal has opened up, throwing a bit of culture into the mix with a studio and gallery, and attempting to wobble the world view of the suits and profit mongers.
Caustic's latest exhibition, Beacons: Pharos, opened on Thursday night with a burning brazier outside and hot toddies inside - a kind of symbolic warmth against the cold emotions of Chinese financiers turning the place into a Monopoly board.
The exhibition is titled Pharos, but is nothing to do with mummies and stuff, and more to do with the Pharos of Alexandria, a lighthouse built in ancient Egypt and one of the seven ancient wonders of the world.
"It's about finding your way, or finding others that you're attracted through these lights or objects drawing people together" explains Rebecca Halliwell-Sutton, who has organised the show featuring the work of four top artists.
At first the space seems sparse, with a pipe installation on the wall, some tall standing fans and a dirty backlit window. Visitors won't be sure whether these are part of the art or fittings for the actual gallery. But, with a bit of explanation and a touch of visual soul searching, it's soon obvious that the space is stuffed with screaming emotions.
The structure on the wall, created by Maria Gondek, is inspired by both the organ at Salford Cathedral and the city's factories that sent off a whistle for tea breaks. Three times a day during opening hours, the installation pipes up like a cry in the post industrial landscape.
Meanwhile, a closer look at Maria's tall windsocked fans shows that they are actually blowing confronting air at each other... "They are, like, mixed signals, an impossible thing" explains Rebecca.
At the far end of the gallery are the three backlit dirty but glowing windows, a triptych by Jesse Darling, which, in the context of this Beacons exhibition, doesn't need too much of an explanation. The artist's 'embarrassed billboard', leaning in the near corner, comes on like a comment on consumerism, as it shows its arse end to the world.
Downstairs, in the studio known as The Fridge, on the opening night there was a dance performance by Mary Hurrell 'to explore movement and the body as language in relation to physical and psychological experience'. The sculptures and photos she used are still on display.
Most of the installations on show are sculpted from industrial materials, except for an array of bright pink 'towers' resembling warped fairy tale castles, created by Rebecca Ackroyd, which links with the other art, as off-kilter memories and innocence try to communicate...like a distant beacon.
Pharos brings together four artists, all of whom have exhibited in top galleries and festivals all over the UK and Europe, from the Serpentine Gallery, to the ICA, to the Volksbuhne Berlin. What unites them is that they are all working with the human psyche and zeitgeist.
While this exhibition looks stark and sparse, there's plenty of creative warmth going on all around. Which is a lot more than you can say about the soulless developer exploits outside. This is a unique and different world. Well recommended.
Thursdays and Saturdays until 13th January 1-5pm free
(closed for Christmas 22nd December - 3rd January)
Regents Trading Estate
Unit 2, Regents Trading Estate
Oldfield Road, M5 4DE
For more details see the Caustic Coastal Facebook page – click here