Soft Pictures – re-making the Hattersley

Lane, Clare (2019) Soft Pictures – re-making the Hattersley. In: Futurescan 4: Valuing Practice. FTC Fashion and Textile Courses. ISBN 9781527249691

Abstract

The exhibit ‘Soft Pictures – Re-making the Hattersley at Futurescan 4: Valuing Practice, University of Bolton, 23rd-24th January 2019, comprised a collection of created work based on a site-specific investigation of the derelict weaving shed at Sunnybank Mills, Farsley, Leeds, United Kingdom (UK), from 2014-present. Specifically, it focused on two old Hattersley looms which were left in the space. The work is a product of an exploration of thinking through practice. This has evolved around the relationship between my textile practice and the subject matter which pre-occupies it - the transient nature of the derelict (both building and machine). This is investigated through the prism of making, un-making and re-making, as a means of opening up a dialogue between textile and place. Derelict buildings are deconstructed spaces, in a state of entropic transformation and open to many interpretations. The investigation of this perception of change (or decline) through textile practice aims to unpick ideas of entropy and alterity and how this is interpreted. Time spent on the site progressed my initial documentary response of the ‘Soft Picture’ (Calderoni 2013) to a more active direct engagement with the space and machinery, resulting in the prolonged process of wrapping a loom. This was initially inspired by the work of Christo and Jeanne-Claude but rapidly became more about the meditative act of binding the machine. Further experiments around the machine entailed making casts of machine parts, as if cataloguing for a museum, and then taking the parts themselves and re-coating them in bright colours, re-making them into Meccano-like toys. All are active processes of making and re-making as a means of striking up a conversation with the un-making state of the site itself. The processes of making, unmaking and re-making have served to raise both physiological and philosophical questions for further exploration. The site is due for demolition in summer 2019 which will facilitate yet another journey of making investigations.

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