Archives for posts with tag: Wirksworth

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Tape Measure

Working on my installation for the Wirksworth Festival 2013. I’m installing later this week for the festival opening on Friday 6 September.

I had to rethink how I was going to make my original proposal and so made a new maquette and then tried to work out how to translate from cardboard and paper to the real thing. Turns out I just needed to use more cardboard and paper, some wood and then get laser cutting, stitching, folding and slotting. The individual parts of the installation are almost all now made and I will be assembling it on site on Thursday night.

Tape Measure will be in the window of Airr Clothing, the Market Place, Wirksworth for the duration of the festival from Friday 6 to Sunday 22 September.

Tape Measure is one of 10 Contemporary Visual Art commissioned for this year’s festival. Festival details here and also information about the Contemporary Visual Art Focus weekend at the new Northern Light Cinema, Wirksworth on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 September.

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Wirksworth Festival 2013

An old croquet ball and a scanner glass which hasn’t been cleaned for a long time produce a kind of negative of the previous paper maquette for Tape Measure.

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Wirksworth Festival 2013

A much smaller model of part of the installation (scanned). Cut from heavier card than the larger maquette and the layers have been guled together, so much more easy to control. I’ll need to photograph it in natural light to understand better how shadows affect the depth of the circles, and how much space is needed between each layer.

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Wirksworth Festival 2013

This is maquette #2 for Tape Measure, my installation for the Wirksworth Festival 2013.

After making it I left the flat and went to Wirksworth to do some field research and to see Airr, the clothes shop on the market place where Tape Measure will be shown in the window. I also went to the Heritage Centre and, armed with information, visited some but not all of the former Tape Mills in the town. Wirksworth was a major centre of tape weaving, including the famous red tape “synonymous with legality and bureaucracy in the complicated world of the British Empire.”(Wirksworth Heritage Centre).

The Mills (that I saw) are Haarlem Mill at Millers Green (established as a cotton mill by Richard Arkwright in 1777), Providence Mill at Gorsey Bank and Willow Bath Mill off Water Lane. At the Derbyshire Record Office in Matlock, a 1976 promotional brochure for Bowmer Bond Narrow Fabrics Ltd. (formed from a merger with John Bowmer and Sons of Wirksworth) contained a descriptive list of their tapes uses:

hospital clothing, surgical dressings and appliances, caps, aprons, bags, disposable clothing, electrical blankets, flags and banners, the car industry, ironing board covers, knitwear, hockey sticks, rosettes, mosquito nets, sleeping bags, legal documents, packaging, carpets, suitcases, parachutes, electrical coils, horse blankets, leather goods, tents, life jacket, toys, saddle bags, blinds, sportswear, flexible doors … and many other products.

Wirksworth also appears as the town Snowfield in George Eliot’s novel Adam Bede (1859). I saw several Adams on my walk around the town. Eliot based characters in her novel on real people in Wirksworth including her aunt and uncle, Elizabeth and Samuel Evans, who managed a silk and velvet mill, now home to the Heritage Centre’s museum.

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