History of Lancashire’s mills celebrated in new exhibition by Preston Threads at UCLan
An exhibition celebrating Lancashire’s mill heritage has opened at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
Synergy, by local textile group Preston Threads, will be the first physical exhibition held at UCLan since the start of the pandemic.
Visitors to the University’s PR1 Gallery will be treated to a textile display with the industrial chimneys of the North West acting as a centrepiece.
UCLan interior design lecturer and member of Preston Threads Pam Eccles said: “Through Synergy, we want to reflect the legacy of the cotton mills and how the industry impacted the
landscape and the people of the time.
“The exhibition honours the hardworking children, woman and men who worked in Lancashire’s mills, as well as the buildings themselves and how they have been transformed over time.”
There are 10 pieces of work in total on display, each inspired by a different mill and its history.
Through their research, the artists learned about inspirational characters, such as Edith Carnie Holdsworth, from Oswaldtwistle; a writer, feminist, poet, and journalist who worked in mills
from the age of 11, as well as societal issues, including supporting cotton slave workers in the United States and documenting the many accidents caused by poor working conditions.
Chris Cannon, a founding member of Preston Threads, said: “We’re really proud of what we as a group have achieved in Synergy. It is a truly collaborative project and we are delighted
that at last we are able to show our work in situ in the PR1 Gallery, particularly as textiles are tactile and these particular pieces are large and need to be viewed from a distance.”
The mills studied for the project are Holmes Mill, Clitheroe; Centenary Mill, Preston; Dunbar Mill, Blackburn; Moscow Mill, Oswaldtwistle; India Mill, Darwen; Victoria Mill, Chorley; Rylands
Mill, Wigan; Victoria Mill, Manchester; Tower Mill, Dukenfield; Quarry Bank Mill, Styal, Manchester.
The free Synergy - Cotton - Powerhouse - Legacy exhibition is open to the public on weekdays between 10am and 5pm, in UCLan’s PR1 Gallery, until August 20.
Visitors can also meet the artists in the gallery to discuss their work on several ‘Meet the Maker’ days on Wednesday, July 14, Wednesday, July 28 and Wednesday, August 11, all between
11am and 1pm.
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