Capturing the fabric of the South Pennines

Posted: 31.03.14

Residents from across the South Pennines have come together to create a stunning collaborative piece of art which captures the true fabric of the area.

‘A Textile Tale’, commissioned by rural regeneration company Pennine Prospects as part of its local distinctiveness project, saw artists working with residents in Hebden Bridge, Haworth, Holmfirth, Marsden, Saddleworth and Rochdale to create a colourful fabric artwork which is almost two metres wide.

Heather-strewn hills and moorland, millstone grit, chimney stacks and a twite are among the characteristic features and local scenes depicted in the work, which took more than six weeks to create.

A variety of techniques were used to create the piece, which was designed by artist Jude Wadley. The Marsden group was led by Janet Hagger of greenfusions, who used knitting, crochet, weaving and felting for different features of the work.

Janet said: “The project was a great opportunity for our ‘craft and chat’ members to work together on this locally-inspired textile piece alongside residents of the Loft Space. For many of our craft and chat members it was the first time they had ever worked to a set design brief and so it was quite a challenge. However, everyone participated in the weekend workshops with real enthusiasm, and it was almost a shame to send off our completed pieces to be added to the other sections!
“We look forward to seeing the finished piece displayed at the visitor centre and invite people along to our preview evening and open studio on Thursday 10th April 6-9pm.”

The piece will be on display at Standedge Tunnel Visitor Centre from 10 April before continuing to Saddleworth and other South Pennine locations. Ellen Richards of the Canal and River Trust said: “It is a pleasure to have this wonderful piece of artwork displayed at the visitor centre. The waterway has always been central to the South Pennine community, providing the necessary textile trade and now serving as a leisure amenity, transforming places and enriching lives of those local to it. The piece depicts this notion perfectly and will be an excellent temporary feature for our visitors to view.”

Pennine Prospects commissioned the piece as part of its local distinctiveness work which aims to raise awareness of the unique characteristics of the South Pennines’ landscape, people and places, in order to encourage visitors to stay longer and spend more. More information can be found at www.southpennines.co.uk.
Rebecca Yorke from Pennine Prospects said: “Textiles have always been strongly represented in the South Pennines, so this piece is shot through with the character of the area. We hope it will be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike and encourage people to explore this fantastic part of the world.”

Standedge Tunnel and Visitor Centre is open daily from April 5. The Loft Space craft and chat group meet every Thursday between 10am – 4pm. New faces are always welcome and you can find out more information at www.theloftspaceatstandedge.co.uk

Yorkshire Water United Utilities Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council National Farmers Union
South Pennines Association Lancashire County Council Pennine Heritage Kirklees Council Calderdale Council
Bradford District Council Northern Rail Natural England Environment Agency The National Trust