The British Textile Biennial throws a spotlight on the nation’s creation, innovation and expression in textiles against the backdrop of the impressive infrastructure of the cotton industry in Pennine Lancashire. With its epic mills and grandiose civic architecture along the country’s longest waterway, the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, the landscape tells the story of textiles. This biennial festival celebrates that story while showcasing its contemporary expression with the community that has textiles in its DNA.
British Textile Biennial 2019 invited artists, designers and makers to present performances, artworks and events across Pennine Lancashire; from Blackburn Cotton Exchange to Brierfield Mill in Pendle, from Mr. Gatty’s Experimental Dye Shed in Accrington to the world-class textile collection at Gawthorpe Hall in Burnley. In 2019, we looked at fabric as a means of expression; showing textiles as a vehicle for protest and cultural identity in slogan-emblazoned T-shirts, football fashion and traditional union and demo banners, and presenting performances and new works that take a dynamic look at our relationship with that most basic and ancient of human creations, cloth.
Running from 3rd October – 3rd November British Textile Biennial 2019 was held in over 21 venues and attended by over 50,000 people across Pennine Lancashire receiving national press coverage from BBC Breakfast, BBC Northwest, The Guardian, The Times and The Mirror amongst others.
Plans are already underway for the next British Textile Biennial when we turn our attention to the globalised nature of the textile industry and its impact on people and the environment with many artists tracking the relationships, historical and contemporary, between Pennine Lancashire and the rest of the world.
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