Art in Manufacturing Legacy Exhibition
“There is art at play in Lancashire’s countless, largely invisible factories: hundreds of people embark each day on creative tasks, working with remarkable attention to detail to produce the beautiful, the delicious and the complex, from the most delicate to the most durable products on earth.”
In 2016, nine of these manufacturers opened their doors to nine artists, laying bare their industry secrets and specialist machinery, their materials, staff and heritage skills in an unprecedented collaboration. Working shoulder to shoulder with factory floor staff, unearthing dead poets and delving deep into the factory records, artisits produced surprising and politically charged works which explored the unheralded skills, processes and history of these factories.
Their responses to their residencies were as varied as the manufacturers they worked with: industrial workspaces were transfigured into celestial sculptures, the lives of employees were upholstered, Rudolph von Laban inspired choreography moved a team of bakers, a choral performance rang through the chambers of the Cathedral, and a waste-plastic floor installation invaded a city-centre shop.
The incredible outcomes of these residences were shown in Blackburn town centre’s most historic and contemporary venues as part of the 2017 National Festival of Making. For more information on The National Festival of Making, please visit https://festivalofmaking.co.uk/
Bringing this work back to Blackburn, the Art in Manufacturing Legacy Exhibition showcases outcomes from this programme and the journeys each artist and factory took to realise their final work. Complimented by a series of commissioned films, telling the narrative local making from the kitchen-table to the factory floor.
Work and artists featured include:
Of Hand and Heart, James Bloomfield at Darwen Terracotta
Traysway, Ruth Jones at Cherry Tree Bakery
Blackburn to the Fore, Jamie Holman at Roach Bridge Tissues
From Cordwainers and Curriers, Jeni McConnell at Cookson and Clegg
The Social Fabric, Grennan and Sperandio at Panaz
Chromatogram, Lazerian at Cardboard Box Company
Human Hands Present, Bella May Leonard at Silent Night
Everyone has a Roll, Michelle Wren at Graham and Brown
Revolution (2017), Robyn Woolston at MGS Plastics
Front Room Factories, By O Productions, commissioned by National Festival of Making and Super Slow Way
Art in Manufacturing short films, By Wash Design, commissioned by Creative Lancashire
Art in Manufacturing is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England and made possible by money raised by National Lottery players.