British Textile Biennial
Fragments of Our Time is a contemporary textile art exhibition featuring 17 South Asian artists brought together for the first time from the UK, USA, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh.
Through a display of films, photography, audio, handbooks, raw materials, and craft objects, Gaining Ground explores craft as a form of living knowledge that shapes global cultures and our relationship to nature.
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For the first time, raw cotton was presented on the floor of the Exchange, this time coming from 3 hectares of land in Benin, farmed by artist Thierry Oussou with local workers and agriculture students.
Using the discarded fabric, in collaboration with FWRD (Festival Waste Reclamation and Distribution) Together, Rebecca Chesney’s field of windsocks serve as an indicator of current conditions; a barometer of the climate crisis of our own making.
In Christine Borland’s installation, four films were cast onto a Projection Cloth of fustian, a mix of linen warp and cotton weft, woven into the fabric of this medieval cruck barn.
Dead White Man addresses the global trade in post-consumer garments, which are donated to charity in the Global North and sold across much of the Global South.
Working with community co-creators from East Lancashire, Common Wealth Theatre presented Fast, Fast, Slow, an interactive catwalk performance that takes the audience on a journey through our relationship to fashion, from Burnley to Ghana.
Bales of secondhand clothes were shredded, allowing participants to transform secondhand clothes into a horde of miniature zombies.
Material Memory was a display of textile items, from football shirts to wedding dresses, loaned by members of the public, alongside the stories they tell.
Victoria has collaborated with and compensated community members, weaving with them and creating sculptural casts of their clothing whilst collecting their stories, to create this monumental artwork.
The Nest Collective from Nairobi presented the installation, ‘Return To Sender’ constructed of used garments, called mitumba in Kenya, fashioned into bales to represent the breadth of the uncontrolled consumption in the Global North, and the stringent regulations that overtly force the movement of these materials to the Global South.
Collaborative artists Jacob Cartwright and Nick Jordan presented a film installation in Goodshaw Chapel, Rossendale, a nonconformist Baptist chapel established by textile workers and farm labourers in 1760 and now owned by English Heritage.
This exhibition and extended the artist’s long-standing exploration of consumer culture and the vast and problematic waste accumulated via the fashion industry.
A tiny fragment of cloth handspun and woven on the Pennine moors, known as Penistone Cloth, has recently come to light.
In-Situ artist in residence Eva Sajovic drew on the history and heritage of Lancashire as the origin of the Industrial Revolution.
The Surplus Badge was developed in three stages: workshops with East Lancashire Guides, Brownies and Rainbows, a participatory picnic filmed on the lawn in front of Towneley Hall and the installation including the film and artworks, exhibited in Towneley’s Family Dining Room for the British Textiles Biennial.
The third annual Re: Fashion Challenge is a collaborative project run by Gawthorpe Textiles Collection, UCLan and the British Textile Biennial.
Fashion Revolution is the world’s largest fashion activism movement, mobilising citizens, brands and policymakers through research, education and advocacy.
In this exhibition, presented in Blackburn Cathedral; Alice Kettle facilitated a conversation through shared embroidery skills, between women in Karachi and groups of women from the South Asian diaspora living in East Lancashire.
Curated by Vancci F.C. Wahn and featuring 3 textile artists and 4 documentary filmmakers from 3 different Indigenous nations in Taiwan, this exhibition of artworks and film explored Taiwanese indigenous participatory textile practices.
This exhibition of work at Queen Street Mill, drew on archival material from the Cottonopolis project and materials gathered from polluted and impacted environments including soils, water, and plants, both near (Manchester), and far (India, Australia) by Natalie Linney and the Cottonopolis Collective as part of an artist residency with the University of Manchester Geography Laboratories.
What would fashion look like if it developed alongside natural seasons rather than the market driven seasons of the fashion calendar?
Threadbare Narratives alluded to the dark histories and myths surrounding cotton and the movement of knowledge, raw materials and people that underpin the history of the Lancashire cotton industry.
Ibukun Baldwin worked at Cookson & Clegg with their deadstock fabric and redundant equipment to create an immersive, interactive space transformed with textile sculptures.
The floating library of short stories, Small Bells Ring came to the canal in Barrowford for a two-day residency, inviting visitors to come aboard, borrow books, rest and read, bob, write and dream. And knit!
‘Threads’ was a gripping and poetic audio piece that immerses listeners in the fascinating journey of a simple t-shirt, from its creation to delivery.