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Nyx Island

Research output: Exhibits, objects and web-based outputsBlogpeer-review

Publication date20/06/2023
PublisherAmerican Ethnological Society
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Mayfield, Manchester. A post-industrial behemoth hidden in plain sight, altering imperceptibly as the city accelerates around it. At the height of the Industrial Revolution, Mayfield was home to the Thomas Hoyle’s Print Works. Established in 1782, the calico printing and dyeing factory was a global attraction, its purples of international repute before being replaced by a railway station. This area became a forgotten island, out of sight and out of mind for decades, its various activities operating in the shadows, secretive if not illicit. Undisturbed, Mayfield quietly evolved its own patinas and atmospheres: remnants of previous eras of urban illumination and their sodium glows; tendrils of trees sprouting from the roofscape; lichen glistening down a wet wall; lost gardens and a culverted river keeping their secluded stories. Until now.

Mayfield has been reactivated due to a major urban regeneration programme. During the day, construction work digs and drills its way into the district, demolishing the boundaries between the site and the city beyond. As the sun sets and dusk stretches over the city, the area comes into life in a very different way. At night, Mayfield becomes Nyx Island. No longer dwelling in the shadowlands of the city’s imagination, the old railway station transforms into a palace of nocturnal delights that welcomes thousands of revelers into its underbelly.