I've recently started work on a new project for Hive, a community arts charity based here in Bradford. “Worn Stories” is a two year project that will explore the heritage of textile reuse and second hand textiles in Bradford from 1880-2015. It is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project will link past and present, identifying, interpreting and recording personal and community memories of arrival and belonging through stories of cloth. I'll be working with diverse groups from across the community who will develop research skills, learn about heritage through engagement in dedicated learning programmes within their own communities and share skills and experiences with others around the city. The project will reference the Bradford Heritage Recording Unit interviews of textile workers collected in the 1980s. I'm hoping that the project will offer an opportunity to have conversations about community ownership of textile recycling and reuse in the city and that this might have longer term impacts in reducing textile waste. We'll be encouraging interaction between communities and offering ongoing opportunities to relate the heritage of recycling to modern day practices. The community and volunteer led research from this project will result in the production of creative interpretive work for permanent display, digital online resources and a network of local textile recycling hubs for use in other communities and projects. Towards the end of the project we'll be having a conference that addresses some of the themes and will offer an opportunity for the communities involved to showcase some of their work. There is a project blog that will record the progress of the project as it develops if you are interested in finding out more.
[Images (clockwise from top left): baled textile waste to be made into Flock and wiper cloths, Randisi Textiles, Bradford; Rag waste in various forms from a Bradford paper mill, (image courtesy of Carolyn Mendelsohn); Unfinished patchwork with papers intact c.1880; my travelling scrap bag, used in many community projects over the years with fabric contributions from many participants and many projects.]
:: this project and my current residency are keeping me very busy. However, Hannah Lamb and I have been working towards the second stage of our Lasting Impressions project and this will be exhibited in the Spinning Room in Salts Mill as part of Saltaire Arts Trail this May. There will be another opportunity to see the work when it is exhibited in The Dye House Gallery, Bradford in July. I'll post more information about this soon.