Fabrications Festival in Lancashire

Sara Jaspan, Exhibitions Editor
Photo by Catherine Caton, courtesy of Super Slow Way

Fabrications at Northlight (Brierfield) Mill in Pendle, 7 — 30 September 2017 Entrance is free — Visit now

Manchester’s former identity as the great Cottonopolis of the world is a subject to which countless exhibitions, displays, artworks and now even drinking establishments have been dedicated. Yet far less of a cultural spotlight tends to be shone on the overall role of the wider Pennine Lancashire region – the very birthplace of Britain’s textile industry, and from where around 85% of the world’s cotton goods were once produced. All this is now changing, however, with the launch of Fabrications (7 – 30 September); the UK’s first festival dedicated to exploring and celebrating textiles and the textile industry through the eyes of contemporary artists. Led by arts commissioning organisation Super Slow Way, the month-long, region-wide programme stretches throughout a network of 15 galleries, museums, former textile mills and unusual locations across Blackburn, Hyndburn, Burnley and Pendle.

Among the many highlights, the world premiere of Suzanne Lacy’s The Circle and The Square offers a deeply moving meditation on the demise of the textile industry as an economic and social driver in the North West, and the resulting separation of South Asian-heritage and white communities who used to work together in the region’s vast mills. The piece was created in collaboration between Lacy and the people of Pendle, using the age-old vocal traditions of Shape Note and Sufi chanting. Presented as a film installation at Northlight (the former Brierfield Mill textile factory, where the film was made) along with an accompanying display at Brierfield Town Hall, The Circle and The Square truly lives up to Lacy’s reputation for awe-inspiring, large-scale choreographed works.

Travelling North for the first time, on 23 September the Selvedge Fair will showcase a curated selection of wares by 26 talented textile designer-makers, as well as a series of free drop in workshops and demonstrations. Mixed-media performance artist, Harriet Riddell, will exhibit the results of her 22-mile cycle along the Leeds Liverpool canal from Pendle to Blackburn with her pedal-powered sewing machine in tow, creating ‘stitch portraits’ of the people she met along the way. And interactive theatre company, METIS, will play upon our awareness of mass production and vulture capitalism through its critically-acclaimed, sell-out performance of World Factory.

Fabrications at Northlight (Brierfield) Mill in Pendle, 7 — 30 September 2017 Entrance is free Visit now

Where to go near Fabrications Festival in Lancashire

Lancashire
Restaurant
The White Swan
at Fence

The White Swan at Fence is a gastro-pub with much to brag about. Delicious drinks and fantastic food has got this pub a Michelin Star.

Thompson Park in Burnley
Burnley
Park
Thompson Park, Burnley

A formal Edwardian urban park in Burnley which retains most its original features including a boating lake and an Italian garden.

Rowley Lake
Blackburn
Park
Rowley Lake

Rowley Lake is on the outskirts of Burnley, with much to offer to the walker who goes out of their way to venture out here. It’s open scope and substantial size lend it vast appeal, while it’s natural activity and beauty make it a pretty picture, with views extending endlessly across the flat plain. 

Glassmonkey Studio
Burnley
Gallery
Glassmonkey Studio

Glassmonkey Studio is the largest glass fusing studio in the area. The studio is home to a gallery selling handmade fused glassware jewellery, art and greeting cards. They also host regular workshops for fused glass, soap making, enamelling, and silver clay jewellery making.

The Weavers Triangle
Burnley
Tourist Attraction
The Weavers Triangle

The Weavers Triangle is a modern name for an area on the banks of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal that was once at the heart of Burnley’s textile industry. The name was first used in the 1970s, as interest developed in preserving Burnley’s industrial heritage, and refers to the roughly triangular shape of the region.

Hurstwood Hall Guest House
Burnley
Hotel
Hurstwood Hall Guest House

Hurstwood Hall Guest House is steeped in local history. It was built in 1579 by the Towneley family and is a Grade II star listed building that retains many of its original features.

Pendle Hill
Lancashire
Tourist Attraction
Pendle Hill

Most famous for its links to the now notorious witch trials of 1612, Pendle Hill and its surrounding towns and villages are a truly bewitching area of Lancashire. History and legend has woven a spell over Pendle.

Towneley Hall
Event venue
Towneley Hall

Historic house, art gallery and museum. Museum houses a variety of displays, encompassing natural history, Egyptology, local history, textiles, decorative art and regional furniture. Art gallery is focused on Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite art, “with some earlier paintings as well”.

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