British Textile Biennial
You can view the full what’s on guide here as well as pick up a copy in all festival venues. For full programme details see the programme section of the website
For BTB21, Azraa Motala created work that untangled culturally inherited expectations and the overlapping aspects of her own identity as a young British-Asian Muslim woman, exploring the way in which women from the diaspora have been represented in both the past and the present day, particularly through their dress.
A collaboration with the Italian sportswear brand C.P. Company and the Westminster Menswear Archive that explored identity through styling and portrait photography with young men from Blackburn and Darwen.
Turner Prize-winning Lubaina Himid presented a major new work held at Gawthorpe Hall in Burnley.
Alex Zawadzki curated new works from three artists who interrogated complex colonial histories, personal archives, family histories and lived experiences; to reveal the residual cultural identity that exists as a consequence of the British Empire and colonisation.
The results of the 2021 Homegrown Homespun project were displayed in an exhibition at Blackburn Museum as part of BTB21. The project has since received further funding, follow our social media channels for regular updates.
Khadi, by Bharti Parmar took the textile archive of Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery as its focus, and explored how cotton, specifically Khadi, a homespun cloth, represented Indian independence from British rule.
James Fox’s work at Helmshore Mill explored the history of protest and punishment via the Lancashire loombreaker riots of 1826
As part of the brands 50th Anniversary celebrations global sportwear icons C.P. Company took part in BTB21, presenting a retrospective dedicated to five decades of Italian Sportswear, and Massimo Osti’s lasting legacy.
In the beautiful Arts & Crafts interior of a former mill owner’s house, Haworth Art Gallery, Accrington, fashion historian Amber Butchart presented an exhibition with pieces chosen from the Gawthorpe Textile Collection.
Inspired by The Textile Manufactures of India, an 18 volume set of fabric sample books assembled in 1866 by John Forbes Watson, a copy of which is held in the Harris Museum, Preston, Kabir worked at John Spencer Textiles in Burnley to create her own personal woven pattern designs that relate to collective imaginings of place and belonging in East Lancashire.
The 62 Group of Textile Artists presented an exhibition of contemporary textile art, focusing on the global context of textiles.
Brigid McLeer presented a memorial to the hundreds of workers who die in factories and sweatshops across the world that supply the global garment industry.
Reetu Sattar explored the contemporary tensions between traditional cultures in the Bangladeshi diaspora and the forces of modernity, through the ever-evolving history of the cotton industry. This work was shown in Queen Street Mill, Burnley.
In a public call out, people from all over the world were invited to share their own story of migration and belonging in this crowd-sourced collection of stitched hoops curated by Jamie Chalmers (Mr X Stitch), featuring representations from people’s journeys and reflections on their personal heritage.
The Woke Denim project was a conscious photo series about the modern-day fight for civil rights, following the Black Lives Matter movement of 2020.
‘The Hoodie Series’ captured young Asian men who wear C.P. Clothing, re-appropriating the brand from the traditionally white football terrace culture of the Northwest, which had, in turn, appropriated it from Italy.
John Tiney harvested T-shirts from charity shops, to present a series of works from a “creative production line” of archiving, wearing, staining, screen-printing, stretching and treating which bears the physical marks of his process.
Textile Artist Sharon Brown presented new work at Queen Street Mill which reimagined found letters and documents connected to the history and workers of Lancashire cotton mills.
Inviting writers to respond to the Flashback archive, this publication also featured an exclusive collaboration with design studio ‘Dorothy’ who have produced a limited edition print mapping the location of Blackburn parties. Contributors included Adelle Stripe, Fergal Kinney, Jamie Holman, Alex Zawadzki, Anna Wood, Emma Warren and Bob Singh.
Sarah-Joy Ford presented a site specific installation at Accrington Library of her quilt: Oranges are Not the Only Fruit, responding to Jeanette Winterson’s novel. The digitally embroidered, white work quilt stitched moments inspired by the narrative, whilst embellishing her own connecting threads of experience.
In association with C.P. Company, the Westminster Menswear Archive presented an archive selection celebrating the brand’s 50th anniversary with a display in Darwen Library.
A collection of quilts made by groups and individuals across the country reflected on the pandemic and the role of the NHS.
Patterns of Migration was a project about sharing stories through clothing and textiles, exploring themes of home and belonging. The focus of the project was on clothing and textile objects from across the world, their journeys, and the lived experiences of their owners.