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New collaborative Sunny Bank Mills exhibition highlights weaving

In March 2023, Farsley’s Sunny Bank Mills will present a unique project of collaborative work led by weaver and artist Hannah Robson.

Hannah has created a series of dynamic woven textiles using an industrial jacquard loom at Bradford College.

These striking fabrics have been developed in partnership with four local artists: a sculptor, a jeweller, a weaver and a mixed-media artist.

Hannah said: “I wanted to work with other artists to open up the process of weaving, which can be very technical and hard to access outside of an industrial setting.

“Weaving is a magical process that offers infinite possibilities in terms of design, colour and surface. It has been stimulating for me to see how each collaboration has unfolded and the results are distinct and surprising.”

Mesh fabric designed by Hannah Robson

In 2021, Hannah began working with an industrial loom at Bradford College that needed some attention.

Through The Jacquard Project she has coaxed the machine back to life with the help of local weavers and loom tuners, who generously advised her, replaced parts and serviced the machine.

Some of these conversations have been captured in a fascinating film created by Karanjit Panesar, intercut with footage of the action of the loom as it weaves, revealing the atmosphere of making cloth and sharing skills.

The Jacquard Project celebrates the weaving heritage of West Yorkshire through the process of creative exchange and collaboration.

These new textiles have a contemporary and conceptual edge, presented as large panels on wooden frames. The cloths carry evidence of the making process – the experimentation and exploration, colour and scale variations, yarn testing, and the glitches of the loom.

Testing length – feature designs by Anna Ray and Hannah Robson.

The exhibition aims to demystify the process of weaving and invites visitors to follow the threads as one artist’s work blends into another’s. Hannah has collaborated with the following artists including Alice Chandler, Anna Ray, James Thompson, and Jodie Posen.

The exhibition will take place on the first floor of the iconic 1912 Mill at Sunny Bank Mills, itself a former worsted mill and weaver of fine cloth. 2023 marks 10 years of arts and culture at the Mills and this exhibition forms part of that yearlong celebration.

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