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Emma Blackburn

Previous AA2A artist

Brief description: 'AA2A Plus' Artist working with the Harris Museum and Art Gallery's history collection and the University of Central Lancashire

AA2A college:

AA2A Year (eg: 2006-07):

Email: mm_blckbrn@yahoo.co.uk

Website: https://www.facebook.com/EmmaBlackburn.Textiles/

About me:

My work has a historical basis, involving the staining and decomposition of ancient cloth that ‘speaks’ of human life. I create contemporary interventions with museum collections and their audiences to dig out untold or hidden narratives embedded within archive objects. I love textiles and look to reveal cloths close relationship with people, places and moments in time. 

My recent projects include commissioned works for Helmshore Mills Textile Museum. Cotton Folk: The War and The Weft responds to the site of the mills and the impact of WW1 on the cotton industry in Lancashire. I was also commissioned by major British textile artist Alice Kettle to create embroidered jewels for The Garden of England at The Queens House, National Maritime Museum. Here, I responded to the paintings of queens and courtiers wearing elaborate 16th and 18th century costumes. In addition, I am part of Tactile Too, a textile handling resource commissioned by The Whitworth. I was lucky enough to handle the museums Ancient Egyptian textile collection and made a contemporary child’s garment in responce.

For AA2A plus, I will research and re-interpret archive photographs from the Harris Museum and Art Gallery’s history collection, looking specifically at trade and industry images of Preston. I would like to juxtapose the old with the new and explore the relationships between earlier businesses and those occupying the town today. Interestingly, in 1927 there were once 6o textile mills operating in Preston and I am keen to speak with people inhabiting some of these former mills in the present day.

The opportunity to access the facilities at Uclan and the collections at The Harris will give me time and support to test out fresh ideas, develop my techniques in embroidery and printed textiles and create a new commissioned work for the Harris. In addition, AA2A Plus will enable me to introduce my work a new and diverse audience. I hope to inspire students to experiment and have fun with materials.  

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