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Monday 12 July 2021

History and legacy of Lancashire’s mills celebrated in new exhibition

UCLan welcomes Preston Threads for its first physical exhibition since the start of the pandemic

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.

"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."

UCLan interior design lecturer and member of Preston Threads Pam Eccles

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 ten 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 Ethel Carnie Holdsworth from Oswaldtwistle; a writer, feminist, poet, and journalist who worked in mills from the age of eleven, as well as societal issues, including supporting cotton slave workers in the United States and documenting the many accidents caused by poor working conditions.

"... 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."

Chris Cannon, a founding member of Preston Threads

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 free Synergy - Cotton - Powerhouse - Legacy exhibition is open to the public on weekdays between 10.00am – 5.00pm, in UCLan’s PR1 Gallery, until the 20 August.

Visitors can also meet the artists in the gallery to discuss their work on several ‘Meet the Maker’ days; Wednesday 14 July, Wednesday 28 July and Wednesday 11 August, all between 11.00am – 1.00pm.

For more information, visit the Preston Threads Facebook page.

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