In March 2023, Sunny Bank Mills in Farsley will present a unique exhibition of collaborative work led by weaver and artist, Hannah Robson.
Hannah has created a series of dynamic woven textiles using an industrial jacquard loom that was, until 2021, in disrepair at Bradford College.
Thanks to ‘The Jacquard Project’, supported by Arts Council England, Bradford College, and Leeds Inspired, Hannah coaxed the machine back to life with the help of local weavers and loom tuners, who generously offered advice, replaced parts, and serviced the machine.
The striking fabrics have been developed in partnership with four other local artists: Alice Chandler (jeweller), Anna Ray (mixed-media artist), James Thompson (sculptor), and Jodie Posen (weaver)
Hannah, who is also a Lecturer in Woven Textiles at Bradford School of Art, explained: “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.”
The Jacquard Project celebrates the weaving heritage of West Yorkshire through 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.
The exhibition aims to demystify the weaving process and invites visitors to follow the threads as one artist’s work blends into another’s. The show will take place on the first floor of the iconic 1912 Mill at Sunny Bank Mills, in Farsley near Leeds – itself a former worsted mill and weaver of fine cloth. The year 2023 marks ten years of arts and culture at the Mills, and this exhibition forms part of that year-long celebration.