This installation was developed by Ibukun Baldwin in collaboration with workers at the Cookson & Clegg factory in Blackburn, a manufacturer reshaping traditional systems with their innovative production lines. At the Funufactury, offcuts from the denim line came to life, taking the form of beings who embody a joyful and creative manufacturing spirit with no production quotas and they encourage those who entered the Funufactury to join them in stitching, fixing and patching the enveloping denim environment.
During her residency, the artist connected with families who had been evacuated from Afghanistan and two women, Palwasha and Razma, were hired as assistants and supported Ibukun Baldwin in creating her installation, taking part in weekly sewing workshops with the artist at Blackburn College.
Ibukun Baldwin is a multidisciplinary artist specialising in print, illustration and embroidery. Her work has grown out of an awareness of the neglected needs of marginalised communities and the potential role that innovative, contemporary, hand-crafted design can play. Baldwin is also founder of fashion brand, Bukky Baldwin Ltd., that focuses on the importance of community and providing employment opportunities for marginalised groups.
Cookson & Clegg was founded in Blackburn in 1860 and by the mid-20th century was a major supplier of military wear to the British Army. Today the firm employs those same expert skills essential in the production of military grade clothing and applies them to the manufacture of leisurewear and workwear for some of the UK’s finest sustainable clothing brands, including jeans for Patrick Grant’s Community Clothing brand.
To hear more about this work, listen to Ibunkun’s conversation with artist Victoria Udondian and Amber Butchart in Episode 6 of the Cloth Cultures podcast, Season 3.
Funufactury was a co-commission with The National Festival of Making as part of Art in Manufacturing. Supported by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and The Calico Group.
Founded in Blackburn in 1860. Today Cookson & Clegg manufacture jeans, chinos, trousers and workwear for some of the UK’s finest sustainable clothing brands, including jeans for Patrick Grant’s Community Clothing brand.
Funufactury was a co-commission with The National Festival of Making as part of Art in Manufacturing.
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