Posted on 8 April 2022 in deindustrialisation, housing

(Video) Intertwining Threads

In this film short, ‘Intertwining Threads’, former ISRF Mid-Career Fellow Dr Lisa Taylor captures a collaborative art project with an ex-industrial carpet manufacturing community in West Yorkshire.

Main image:
Still from Intertwining Threads, courtesy of the author.

The following film short, ‘Intertwining Threads’, captures Lisa Taylor’s collaborative art project with an ex-industrial carpet manufacturing community in West Yorkshire. Like many regions of old industrial Britain, Bailiff Bridge was once a thriving manufacturing hub, home to a Firth Carpets carpet weaving mill. The town began to transform after the mill’s closure and demolition at century’s turn, into a ‘dormitory’ village. Today, newcomers often work elsewhere, reducing opportunities for community bonding with remaining ex-Firth’s carpet workers.

‘Intertwining Threads’ visualises a suite of inter-generational public engagement activities designed to promote cohesion, including an exhibition of photographs produced by workshops designed with artist Catherine Bertola, in which the hand-skills of carpet-making were passed on to newcomers. Capturing the processes of healing a community mired by the losses of deindustrialisation, the film acts to show how the project enabled the whole community to commemorate the lost labour of the region’s industrial pride in carpet manufacture.

Film credits:

Dr Lisa Taylor—Reader in Cultural Studies and Head of Media, Leeds Beckett University
Catherine Bertola—artist
Nick Singleton—film
Michael Godsall—additional footage
David Glover—former creeler, Firth Carpets
James Wheeler—former design studio manger, Firth Carpets
Michelle Wheeler—former mender, Firth Carpets
Angela Gash—former winder, Firth Carpets

Dr Lisa Taylor

Dr Lisa Taylor was an ISRF Mid-Career Fellow in 2021. Her recent work tackles the impacts of wider socio-economic policies upon local communities – the devaluing of spaces ‘left behind’ by deindustrialisation and persistent negative images of the North. Drawing on the interdisciplinary turn to spatiality and affect and using participatory methodologies, she examines peoples’ affective interactions with place.  Her book A Taste for Gardening (2008) was about the relationship between British garden lifestyle media and the classed aesthetics of gardening. 

Lisa Taylor ISRF