School of the Arts, English and Drama

News and Events

20 Dec 2017

Textiles students put a creative spin on Loughborough’s history

First-year students on the BA Textiles: Innovation and Design course are currently working on a live project in collaboration with local organisation Charnwood Arts, led by Dr Kerri Akiwowo in the School of the Arts, English and Drama.

The project, entitled Re-Making History, follows on from last year’s theme, Making Histories, led by Dr Jenny Pinski, also from the School, and builds on a succession of making briefs explored in partnership with Charnwood Arts over the past four years.

Students have been tasked with responding to Loughborough and the surrounding area: its rich heritage in UK textile production; industries such as bell founding, shoe manufacture, and the Great Central Railway; the social history of the area in relation to the Industrial Revolution; and migration in the mid-20th century. Today, footprints of its history can be found in archives, museums, parks, architecture, transport links, markets, people, communities and more. As part of the research, students visited the Carillon Tower in Loughborough, the Collections Resource Centre in Barrow upon Soar and Bowley's, the last knitwear factory in Loughborough.

The brief requires students to develop their visual and contextual research to explore links between drawing and stitch using a resourceful approach to sourcing and utilising materials combined with experimental hand and machine techniques and stitch processes. From their fabric and material samples, they will each develop four final pieces. The work will be completed in January 2018, and elected final pieces and other artefacts will be on display in an exhibition of the same name in the School’s Martin Hall Exhibition Space and at the Charnwood Museum Cafe in spring 2018.

Dr Akiwowo said: “The project enables students to delve into Leicestershire’s past by connecting with the local people and places that trace a rich account of its history.” 

Inset image: Bags from the Collections Resource Centre.