June 2012

Holmfirth Arts Festival 2012

Writing Frame

A site-specific installation made for the Holmfirth Festival 2012. Installed in The Old Print Shop (disused), 19 Huddersfield Road, Holmfirth, from 17 to Sunday 24 June 2012.

It continues an interest in the Luddite Uprising of 1812-1813 and builds on Yarn, my installation for Holmfirth Arts Festival 2011. Writing Frame consists of a series of linked punched A1 cards that cascade off a simple wooden frame. Letters cut into the paper form a text that appears to run on, which reads: “Enoch hath made them and Enoch shall break them“. This was the rallying cry of the Luddites of West Yorkshire who destroyed the new shearing frames, made by Enoch and James Taylor of Marsden, with iron sledgehammers – the ‘terrible Enochs’ made by the same Enoch Taylor.

The punched paper, and the frame it is attached to, reference the changes wrought by the automation and mechanisation of the weaving process, and in particular the coded instructions of the Jacquard loom. Much of what is known about the Luddites was handed down through oral histories and shared memories that were transcribed and recorded a long time after the events of 1812. In running the words together, Writing Frame suggests how language and meaning (and history) can be lost or difficult to ‘read’.