Go up the stairs to the first floor of Salford Museum and Art Gallery and it's like entering an abattoir. The walls are sterilised white. Which makes the blood red drips, gashes and slashes on the canvases scream even more.
Anyone familiar with Broughton will recognise the names of places, only here their `street' and `road' signifiers have been beheaded. There's a canvas called In Cottenham where the landscape is almost completely obliterated by swathes of red paint. Another titled In Camp features a red `blade' cutting through the white (new houses?), while another called In Broughton features dates with scarlet stained drips running down them.
As paintings in themselves, Daniel Glenister's work could just be seen as abstract splatters and lines. But given the subject matter, it comes over as a comment on the state and method of Broughton's regeneration. It looks like the bloody aftermath of a battlefield.
Without any representation of Broughton's community being depicted there's anger and emotion in every brushstroke… "They're ripping the heart out of Salford", as a zillion indigenous people have said.
Maybe Glenister himself wouldn't go that far. The detailed explanations for the paintings that he leaves on the walls and in workbooks state merely that they are based on the very dull Supplementary Planning Document, and inspired by the red boundary line that surrounds the regeneration area of Broughton. But here, that red boundary line comes alive and goes on the rampage around old Salford in a full scale riot.
Perhaps Glenister is animating the cold blooded decisions of planners, forcing them to face the reality of their rationale. Or maybe not.
Butchery is in the eye of the beholder.
On the way up to the On The Edge exhibition is another wall of Glenister's paintings based on Langworthy. These merge the colours of the terraced houses, now demolished, in places like Kara Street and Nansen Street with the colour codes of Salford City Council planners. Beige is for `demolition', blue is for `under review' and green is for `re-modelling'.
The stand out paintings here are one called Royle which, in the midst of beige blocks, has a photo of knee rails and tinned up terraces barely visible behind a white wash. And one called Re-modelling Goulden featuring a splattering of green over newspaper adverts of local house prices.
Whatever Daniel Glenister intends from his paintings the results are an incredibly powerful statement on the state of Salford.
On The Edge
Artwork by Daniel Glenister
Salford Museum and art Gallery until 9th Jan 2011
Peel Park, Crescent, Salford M5 4WU
0161 778 0800