Exhibition: The Jacquard Project | Hannah Robson

In March 2023, Sunny Bank Mills will present a unique project of collaborative work led by weaver and artist Hannah Robson. Hannah has created a series of dynamic woven textiles using an industrial jacquard loom at Bradford College.

These striking fabrics have been developed in partnership with four local artists: a sculptor, a jeweller, a weaver and a mixed-media artist.

Hannah describes her motivation for the project:
‘I wanted to work with other artists to open up the process of weaving, which can be very technical and hard to access outside of an industrial setting. Weaving is a magical process that offers infinite possibilities in terms of design, colour and surface. It has been stimulating for me to see how each collaboration has unfolded and the results are distinct and surprising.’

In 2021, Hannah began working with an industrial loom that needed some attention at Bradford College. Through The Jacquard Project she has coaxed the machine back to life with the help of local weavers and loom tuners, who generously advised her, replaced parts and serviced the machine.

Some of these conversations have been captured in a fascinating film created by Karanjit Panesar, intercut with footage of the action of the loom as it weaves, revealing the atmosphere of making cloth and sharing skills.
Link to film: https://youtu.be/G-blWyqmiBw

The Jacquard Project celebrates the weaving heritage of West Yorkshire through the process of creative exchange and collaboration. These new textiles have a contemporary and conceptual edge, presented as large panels on wooden frames. The cloths carry evidence of the making process – the experimentation and exploration, colour and scale variations, yarn testing, and the glitches of the loom.The exhibition aims to demystify the process of weaving and invites visitors to follow the threads as one artist’s work blends into another’s. Hannah has collaborated with the
following artists:

Alice Chandler
The collaboration with Alice started with a shared interest in bricks and bindweed as a metaphor for
urban changes in the city of Leeds and connections between brick walls, woven cloth and plant life.

Anna Ray
In another collaboration with a heritage focus, Anna takes inspiration from her French Huguenot ancestors, who were silk weavers and fancy trimmings manufacturers. She references the structure of the loom and the curling of yarns, reimagining Huguenot motifs.

James Thompson
The collaboration with James involved using scanning as a method for capturing details and surfaces along a controlled, yet arbitrary route around the jacquard machine itself, which formed designs for fabrics.

Jodie Posen
Jodie created imagery based on the leftover, incidental and fortuitous patterns and marks created in
studio life. The collaboration gives new form to these patterns as textile design.

The exhibition will take place on the first floor of the iconic 1912 Mill at Sunny Bank Mills, in Farsley, near Leeds; itself a former worsted mill and weaver of fine cloth. 2023 marks 10 years of arts and culture at the Mills and this exhibition forms part of that yearlong celebration.

Further information
Exhibition details
Dates: 22nd-26th March 2023
Address: Sunny Bank Mills, 1912 Mill, Leeds Opening Hours 10am-4pm
Venue: Sunny Bank Mills
Project:  Hannah Robson: The Jacquard Project

Contact hannah.robson.studio@gmail.com

Project supported by
Arts Council England
Bradford College
Leeds Inspired

with thanks to Hannah Robson for the text and images

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