A new exhibition will open at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery on Saturday 14 November which gives local people the chance to explore their connection to Warrington's industrial past.
Made in Warrington: Steel, Stitch and Soap will look at how Warrington developed rapidly as an industrial hotbed during the 19th Century, highlighting three key industrial areas that are significant to the town.
The town is of course most well-known for its steel making industry and the production of wire in particular. By the early 19th century wire was Warrington's most important industry. Firms included, Rylands, Greenings, Lockers and the Whitecross & Firth Company.
The exhibition will also explore Warrington’s rich textile history, showcasing multiple sewing and garment creation techniques and also the town’s soap making and chemical industry.The exhibition has been brought to the town by Culture Warrington, in partnership with the artists’ collective Threadmill, and gives a strong representation of where the town once sat within an industrial landscape before manufacturing industries declined.
For this exhibition I have used metals, wires and threads relating to the steel industry of Warrington. Combining these with fabrics when stitched gives many different effects. The metals are very pliable yet stay firm. I’ve found the two combinations very enjoyable and fascinating to work with.
The shirt, “It’s a Revelation’ depicts my love of the Elizabethan period and also relates to Revelation Shirts in Warrington which are part of the clothing trade.
Threadmill was formed in 1995 by a group of like-minded artists in the North West of England. The members have a wide range of backgrounds; most have recognised vocational qualifications or degrees in Art and Design subjects and many also teach in schools and colleges. They all share an enthusiasm for creativity whilst using textiles as the principal mean of artistic expression.
By working in a group they hope to provide support to the individual and therefore allow each artist to develop, by giving a focus and setting targets. They meet regularly to exchange ideas and are keen to explore new avenues. To create a group identity they work to a theme for each exhibition; this ensures that the work has a common link while allowing individuals to express themselves freely.
They are committed to the promotion of textiles as both a decorative and expressive art form and hope to increase awareness and education through exhibitions and workshops. http://threadmill.org.uk/
Exhibition open 14 November 2015 – 20 February 2016, Admission: Free
Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, Museum Street, Warrington, WA1 1JB www.warringtonmuseum.co.uk
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