Leeds Central Library
Thread and Tread - A Shoddy Silence
Shoddy Cloth Palls where people are invited to share their experience of working in textiles industry and that of war. The central piece pays homage to the men and perhaps women who were WW1 khaki Uniform, who endured wearing such unforgiving cloth!
Homage to My Grandparents, My Grandfather who inspired my journey of WW1, My Grandmother The Textiles Industry. Vintage Textiles book enthusiastically describing textiles in it's many forms, my focus is on re-cycled cloth.
This piece is in respect to all who were mobilised and demobilised in WW1. Those who gave their lives to the experience of war; who were injured and those who 'lost' their lives. My premise of this research and subsequent exhibition is to make real the experience of war through singling out a very personal aspect, that of what the cloth which shielded soldiers from their environment be it uniform or blankets.
Further questioning was 'did the soldiers wear uniforms their families and friends may made? Did they work in the very same mill prior to war, during or after?
The impetus for the research on uniform came about during a talk about WW1 Costume by Lucy Addlington; she mentioned from 1916 uniforms were recycled. This horrified me. It has further moved me more and more deeply to the point where, when I was given permission to look at the Archival 'Guard' Book of Sunny Bank Mills, Farsely, Leeds; the pages of Khaki cloth orders for 1914-18, 1916 onwards immensely increased in number.
At this point I was not sure I could depict this horrifying evidence of the amount of cloth needed to keep recycling both cloth and men!
I wanted to do justice and honour to those who worked in the arduous conditions of the mills and those who endured war.
The Guard Book was a large leather bound, hand stitched book with hand drawn red ink columns; where neatly written secret codes of orders stood beautifully, tellingly row after row after row, each line after line after line was crossed out neatly and firmly in pencil. For me, this signified the men had gone! Crossed out!
Thread and Tread - A Shoddy Silence has been a year long journey, so far. Having taken 11 months to behold the evidence I was seeking. This became a story in itself as I have found it difficult to locate specific evidence of where the used uniforms were dispatched to, rag sorted, recycled and refashioned into khaki uniform.
This residency culminates in WW1 Song sung live, artist talk of my journey so far and an opportunity to share and make homage to The Textiles Industry and WW1.
Sunday 29th April 2018 1.30-2.30 pm Room 700, Leeds Central Library, Calvery Street (The Headrow) Leeds
Please visit ; on Leeds Libraries page https://www.facebook.com/leedslibraries/posts/10156542113599208