An exhibition of abandoned shopping trolley art is coming to Salford

Supermarket Streets is an imaginative new project from Emma Evans and Chris Massey.

By Manchester's Finest | Last updated 23 March 2023

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Have you ever wondered about the secret lives of the abandoned shopping trolleys you see around Manchester? If so, this new art exhibition at MediaCityUK might be of interest.

When Chris Massey stumbled upon a discarded shopping trolley during a peaceful dog walk in Reddish Vale Country Park, he had no idea that this chance encounter would spark a creative collaboration with artist and illustrator Emma Evans. The project, titled Supermarket Streets, uses photography and illustration to tell the story of abandoned shopping trolleys and explores their transformation from mere objects to characters with a back story.

The exhibition raises questions about the trolleys’ escape from the daily grind and their journey to self-awareness. Have they realised their role in over-production and mass consumerism? Can they retrain and repurpose themselves, or are they destined to remain a symbol of society’s consumerist tendencies?

Artist Emma Evans has breathed new life into Chris Massey’s photographs of abandoned shopping carts by focusing on the positive aspects of their journey. The trolleys, which once conformed to the demands of the marketplace, now find freedom in escaping to nature and rethinking their values.

Supermarket Streets will launch on 25 May at Kiosk, Quayside, MediaCityUK, as part of the Manchester Fashion Movement. The exhibition offers a lighthearted interpretation of the life of the humble discarded shopping trolley, celebrating the creative collaboration between Emma Evans and Chris Massey.

You can get trolleyed in more ways than one at this Salford exhibition. Image: Emma Evans

The event will also feature limited edition items by Manchester upcycled clothing brand R.A.G., with attendees encouraged to bring their own garments to be screen printed with a Supermarket Streets logo by illustrator, painter, and filmmaker Katie Mason. There will be complimentary drinks from Manchester Union Lager and Boothstown Gin (so you can get trolleyed another way), as well as DJ sets by Supernature and Sticky Heat residents. Limited prints by Evans and Massey will also be available for purchase.

By giving a voice to these “chariots of consumerism”, Supermarket Streets invites viewers to consider the environmental issues of over-production and mass consumerism through a playful and artistic lens. Stick this one on your shopping list for the week.

Supermarket Streets

Date: Thursday 25 May

Time: 6-10pm

Venue: Kiosk, Quayside MediaCityUK

Price: free