I am currently at the start of an eight month residency, ‘Local Colour’, based in Accrington, Lancashire, commissioned by Super Slow Way. This is a new commissioning body funded through Arts Council England as part of their Creative People and Places funding stream. It is hosted by the Canal and River Trust. A programme of work with local, national and international artists is being delivered in a series of commissioned and community-based residencies focussed on the bicentenary of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. ‘Local Colour’ is based at Elmfield Hall (c.1853) the former home of a textile industrialist, Albert Gatty, who specialised in Turkey Red print and dye techniques and who later became an innovator in the creation of a mineral khaki dye for use in army uniforms. The house is now the base of a social enterprise, Community Solutions North West, an organisation specialising in community engagement and support for vulnerable adults.
Pictured (top left) is the interior of a small private dye house that Gatty had built next to his house where he could conduct his experiments. It has been virtually untouched since the late nineteenth century. The project proposes to use a slow methodology to explore historical connections to the area around Elmfield Hall using ‘whole process’ working: seed-to-fabric projects where participants engage in activities that have a localised approach. The focus will partly be around the use of madder in Turkey Red printing. In the context of this durational project the creative processes of talking and making, or conversations through making, will be used to explore Elmfield Hall and its environs. In my proposal for the residency I quoted Lucy Lippard who describes ‘…a layered location replete with human histories and memories, place has width as well as depth. It’s about connections, what surrounds it, what formed it, what happened there, what will happen there.’ (2007, p.7). I'll report back on our progress as the project develops.
:: My engagement with this blog has been sporadic to say the least in 2016. It's been a very busy year for me and has included some big changes and challenges. I'm planning to write another blog post soon with some information about a new long term project, my PhD research, an update about Lasting Impressions and workshop and exhibition news. Many thanks for continuing to support my work, for reading my book and for visiting my Instagram feed this year. It is very much appreciated.