V&A textiles on display at Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery

On display until the end of June 2018 in Cotton Town Gallery, are four textile panels by some of the 20th Century’s greatest textile designers. The pieces are on loan from the V&A as part of the DesignLab Nation programme. This project aims to bring together secondary schools, local museums and local designers to inspire and preserve the essential role of Art, Design and Technology in education.

The four works by British design heavyweights Lucienne Day, Ashley Havinden, Tibor Reich and Marion Dorn are displayed amongst the industrial machinery in the Cotton Town Gallery.

The V&A’s DesignLab Nation programme seeks to extend the reach of the V&A’s Schools Programme beyond London, is working with a variety of cultural venues throughout the UK and in Blackburn it will explore the rich legacy of the region’s cotton industry. The scheme will encourage young people to make their own contemporary responses to historical processes, and to gain an understanding of how collections from the past can inform new ideas.

As part of the project students from Darwen Aldridge Community Academy (DACA) will work with local printmaker Sarah Hardacre to create their own fabric designs inspired by the pieces from the V&A.

Councillor Damian Talbot, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Young People, said:

We’re delighted to be working with the V&A and to have been chosen to host such prestigious pieces. It is fantastic that young people are being encouraged to explore the rich manufacturing history of this area that continues to this day, and is something that is celebrated by the wonderful National Festival of Making. This project gives them an opportunity to see how they can develop skills, which could potentially be used in the areas of design and making and  contribute to the continuing success of our local creative and manufacturing industries.

Tristram Hunt, Director of the V&A, said:

As our creative economy grows, international competition accelerates, and the provision of creative subjects in schools is squeezed, art and design education is needed more than ever. By bringing together local industry, museums and schools, DesignLab Nation will ensure that the V&A works with communities across the country to educate and inspire the artists, innovators and designers of tomorrow.

Calyx, Furnishing Fabric, Lucienne Day, 1951

Calyx, Furnishing Fabric, Lucienne Day, 1951

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