Cataloguing Padiham

Harriet Lawton collaborated with Gawthorpe Hall and Padiham residents in a series of workshops, culminating in a label trail through Padiham in summer 2016.

“I have a vision of a place of meeting where neighbours will come for many reasons to seek stimulating thought by meeting other active minds, to find refreshment and inspiration and a joy in beauty.”

Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth, 1912

Cataloguing Padiham was a project led by contemporary textile artist Harriet Lawton, in response to the Gawthorpe Textiles Collection at Gawthorpe Hall. Through engaging with local residents, Harriet explored ideas of narrative, fragments and piecing together, often in unexpected places.

Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth, the founder of the Gawthorpe Textiles Collection in the early 20th century, amassed a stunning textile collection when she lived in the hall and was interested in everything, from everyday textiles made for Lancashire homes to exotic fabrics from foreign lands. She catalogued her collection meticulously with hand-written labels that tell the stories of these textiles.

Harriet created a series of artworks based upon these labels. The Cataloguing Padiham project told the unique stories of Padiham, developed directly with people from the local community.

Harriet worked with local groups and individuals and, through a series of workshops, they were asked to give their unique insights into Padiham and create individual labels, which describe places that are important to them. These labels were developed into simple hand-stitched pieces and exhibited at Gawthorpe Hall and also into a series of outdoor pieces which formed a label trail through Padiham in Summer 2016.