Hand to Hand; Honouring North Devon's Glove Workers
Lottery funding for glove project
‘Hand to Hand’ honouring North Devon’s Glove Workers
Ceramic artist Sue Rossiter, who lives in Braunton, has been awarded public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England for a unique project; ‘Hand to Hand’, which pays tribute to the high quality skills of the North Devon glove workers.
An exhibition of innovative artwork inspired by the project will be held at White Moose gallery, Barnstaple from 11th June to 30th July. Dramatic sculptural forms will combine stitch-like mark-making, leather-like surface qualities and colours developed from local earth pigments, inspired by historical records from the former Pilton Glove Factory in Barnstaple and machinery and equipment of the period.
Two Memory Box workshops will be held at the Sandy Brown Museum on 18th June and on 30th July encouraging ex glovers to share stories and reconnect with their past experiences and skills. Two talks about the glove making heritage of the area will be given by Val Morris, Chairwoman of Torrington Museum on 15th June at Torrington Museum and on 27th July at White Moose gallery.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to receive Arts Council support and hope audiences will be inspired to value and re connect with their own craft skills,” said Sue Rossiter. “I’ve re discovered half-forgotten sewing skills as a result of the project and I’m really enjoying using these to incorporate stitch, leather and fabric into my ceramics. I hope the exhibition will show audiences what is possible when skills are acknowledged and that people interested in local history and craft skills, and visitors from outside the area, will come and see the show.”
Once a world centre for glove making in the 19th and early 20th Century the industry provided employment and craft skills for generations of local families, but all this history is now in danger of being forgotten with local factories closed.
“I am pleased to be supporting this project because I believe we have something in North Devon to be proud of in our glove-making heritage and because I know Sue will produce a great body of work,” said Sandy Brown who has a studio and gallery in the former Sudbury Glove Factory building in Appledore, now home to the Sandy Brown Museum.
Artworks will reference the different stages of production for a glove such as stitching, stamping and pairing. A memory box will reference the final stage in the glove making process; boxing and dispatch, where many hundreds of thousands of gloves were sent from North Devon to London and world-wide.
“Great Torrington Museum is delighted to be helping Sue in this extremely interesting project which highlights a very important industry in the Torrington area and still has many ex-glove workers living locally,” said Val Morris.
Local developers, The Old Glove Factory Development Ltd and Mazzard Investments Limited who are currently redeveloping the former Glove Factory in Ladywell Lane, Pilton into nine contemporary flats, are also supporting the project. The show flats are due to open to the public in July 2016.
Sue Rossiter would like to thank project partners; The Sandy Brown Museum, Torrington Museum and White Moose Gallery and project funders; the National Lottery through Arts Council England, the Craft Pottery Association, The Elmgrant Trust and The Old Glove Factory Development Ltd and Mazzard Investments Limited for their support, without which the project would not be possible.
Exhibition: White Moose Gallery, Friday 10th June (private view, 6pm) to 30th July 2016
Talks: 15th June Torrington Museum, 27th July (White Moose Gallery)
Art workshops: 18th June and 30th July (Sandy Brown Museum, Appledore)
For further information contact:
M: 07956 253486
Supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. For more information visit: Arts Council England
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