British Textile Biennial
Taking place every two years across East Lancashire in public spaces, galleries and historic buildings, the British Textile Biennial (BTB) commissions artists to make and present work in the context of the area. The festival is underpinned by a year-round programme of research, education, residencies, and community engagement projects. Since its inception in 2017, the Biennial has commissioned 36 new artworks and presented work by over 100 artists from around the world in a wide variety of forms and media to tell a contemporary story of textiles that stretches across continents and centuries.
English Heritage and BTB are looking to commission an artist/s to respond to one of its sites in Lancashire, Goodshaw Chapel in Rossendale, and create a new work to be shown in October 2023 relating to the premise of this year’s Biennial. The industrial revolution transformed East Lancashire into an engine of fast fashion at the epicentre of a web that stretched across the globe; commandeering human and environmental resources across continents in a cycle of labour, manufacture and trade which we now know is unsustainable. Our landscape and its inhabitants is shaped by the industry that grew over two centuries and has now all but gone. BTB23 invites artists to look back at the historic, more sustainable relationship between the land, the people who lived on it and the textiles that came out of it alongside contemporary alternatives being created by artists across the globe.
The work can be produced in any medium but should respond to the theme of the biennial and the context of the chapel.
This brief is deliberately very open, as we are interested in starting a conversation with an artist or collective to explore the possibilities presented by the partnership, the building, the theme and the context. We are keen to hear your ideas for starting points but recognise that the process ultimately will define the outcomes of the work as it develops.
Selected artists will be supported by the BTB team throughout the process from research and engagement to installation, and the local EH team will be available to support research visits as part of the process.
Full brief and application process linked here.
There is a version of the brief available in white, with black font here.
Further background information on Goodshaw Chapel: