27th April 2018

Fabrications & Lancashire Encounter co-commission


Super Slow Way is developing Fabrications the UK’s first Textile Biennial in 2019 that will throw a spotlight Pennine Lancashire’s relationship with textiles and the politics of cloth in relation to people, production and place. This year Fabrications will co- commission an artist to explore these themes, through an exciting new partnership of the Lancashire Encounter festival working with Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery and the Harris Museum in Preston.

Super Slow Way is an arts commissioning organisation, part of Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places programme. Its work is shaped by the people and communities of Blackburn, Burnley, Hyndburn and Pendle in collaboration with local, national and international artists, and arts organisations based around the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, which is cared for by the Canal & River Trust.

Lancashire Encounter is an authentic voice for Lancashire which celebrates the breadth of the county’s diverse cultural offer with a high quality, high profile arts festival and invites nationally significant artists to Lancashire. Encounter is a cross art form festival, programmed and owned by Lancashire’s artists, organisations and communities.

The Brief:

We are looking for an artist or collective, who will explore the Harris & Blackburn Museum’s textile related collections collaboratively with a group of local participants, to produce a new work, that can be shown in progress at this year’s Lancashire Encounter festival (Sept 21-23rd) and as a finished piece at next year’s Fabrications in Autumn 2019.

The work can be produced in any medium, but should respond to the theme of ‘the politics of fabric’ and be inspired by the collections. So, whilst we are of course interested in receiving applications from artists who work with textiles, you do not need to be a textile practitioner to apply for this commission. Final works can be site responsive, installation, performative, digital media or sound based for example. We are particularly interested in working with artists who have a track record of meaningful collaboration with groups of participants, to realise high quality arts outcomes.

Selected artists will be supported by the Super Slow Way team, and if necessary a local producer throughout the development of the work. Curators from the Harris, and Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery will be available to support research visits to the museums as part of the process. Selected artists will also be supported by the Lancashire Encounter & Fabrications teams for the production/installation/presentation of work within each respective festival. We have not yet defined spaces/locations for the presentation of work, so this will need to be taken into consideration during the process of research and project development.

This brief is deliberately very open, as we are interested in starting a conversation with an artist or collective to explore the possibilities presented by the partnerships, the theme, the participants and the collections. We are keen to hear your ideas for starting points, areas of particular curiosity or inspiration and ideas of groups you’d like to work with. But we recognise that the process ultimately will define the outcomes of the work as it develops, so these need not be set in stone – more a way to excite our interest in you and your way of working.


The overall budget for this project is in the region of £10,000, which must cover fees, expenses and materials. Given the length and staged nature of the delivery, at this point we only ask that you provide us with a daily rate, then if successful, we will work with you to define a detailed project budget over the key stages of delivery.

Delivery timescale:

We envisage a period of research and collaboration starting in late June towards a work in progress shown from 21 to 23 September 2018 at Lancashire Encounter, followed by a continuation of development and collaboration activities, and a final presentation during Fabrications in the autumn of 2019 (exact dates TBC). This could involve short burst intensive periods of working with the participant group or a regular interaction over a longer period of time.

How to apply:

Please send us:

• A short outline of why this project interests you, your area of focus and any particular communities or groups of people you’d be keen to work with.
• An outline of your previous work and examples of no more than 3 projects that you feel demonstrate why your practice is relevant for this opportunity (including images or links to video / sound based work).
• Your daily rate
• Please put all of this together as a single PDF document.


Deadline for applications is Friday 18th May at 12pm.

Please email applications to Jenny Rutter –

If you have any questions or want to talk over your application prior to submission, please email with any questions or to arrange a time to chat.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to discuss their proposal further on Fri 25th May and the final commission will be awarded by the beginning of June.

Further supporting information: