By KLTV Newsdesk –
Kirklees council initiative WOVEN 2023 festival, a celebration of innovation in textiles across the region (3 June – 9 July), has today announced its ‘Growing Colour Together’ campaign, which will launch a bid for West Yorkshire’s Kirklees to become the UK’s largest ever dye garden.
Initiated and funded by Kirklees Council, ‘Growing Colour Together’ and WOVEN are owned by everyone, including community groups, textile businesses and educational organisations across the district and beyond.
Its themes focus on generations of innovators, connecting Kirklees’ strong textiles heritage with cutting-edge developments in industrial production, university research and the creative expression of the district’s rich and diverse communities.
The full WOVEN 2023 programme will be announced in April 2023.
Creative textile production has been a factor in today’s cost of living and environmental crises, but it can also be part of the solution.
With the textiles industry ranking in the top two global pollutant industries, initiatives like ‘Growing Colour Together’ are necessary to educate and draw attention to the fact that more needs to be done to understand the actions that citizens can take to influence the industry, and in doing so support their own pocket!
‘Growing Colour Together’ aims to create a district-wide, natural dye garden in Kirklees this summer, specifically focused on development in three areas of the district: Dewsbury, Kirkburton & Birkby and Fartown.
The garden spaces will offer a sustainable, natural means of growing plants that produce dye to be used on textiles and educating those involved about the importance of sustainability within the textiles industry.
Councillor Will Simpson, Cabinet Member for Culture, Kirklees Council: “Growing Colour Together’ focuses on growing plants which traditionally have provided natural dyes used in the textile industry.
“The project provides a range of great opportunities for Kirklees – to promote the fascinating stories of our district’s textile heritage, to increase awareness about caring for nature and to bring people together to express their creativity.
“Our region has a great artistic talent and engagement, and I look forward to seeing the creations which come out of ‘Growing Colour Together’.
The project also encourages people to work outdoors which has known health and well-being benefits, and our local area will benefit from improving the environment to create new colour gardens.
Cllr Simpson added: “The project is a wonderful example of how we can use Kirklees’ heritage stories to inspire beneficial activity today and deliver the community aspirations of the Council’s Heritage Strategy which will be launched later in 2023.
“We would like to thank Arts Council England for supporting this innovative project.”
The ‘Growing Colour Together campaign includes several projects as described below.
The Film ‘Growing Colour Together’
Specially commissioned by digital support agency The Space, the film ‘Growing Colour Together’ will go live on 25 January across social media, on the WOVEN website and on YouTube.
The film explains the project and serves as a call to action for community groups and individuals from across Kirklees and beyond to get involved with ‘Growing Colour Together’.
Elanz Yazdani, ‘Growing Colour Together’ Manager, said: ‘’Growing Colour Together’ means connection to me… it’s about bridging that gap between gardening and art practice’.
The film showcases different perspectives on dyeing from local experts, such as Andrew Filarowski from the Society of Dyers and Colourists, to figures from the education sector and sustainability pioneers all looking to make a difference.
The film also features moving stories from artists who use sustainable dyeing methods to connect to their garments and communities, as well as sharing the rich textiles history of Kirklees, and the benefits of experiencing nature.
The artists employ a range of methods to creatively repurpose items, from eco-printing to embroidery, sharing their experiences with the craft.
One artist featured is Kayleigh Davis, who forages plants for her dyes, and tells the story of a scarf she re-dyes once the colour fades, breathing new life into the garment. The item takes on a new level of sentimentality and meaning with each dye.
You can watch the film here: https://youtu.be/XXhG8Lxe7pY
Seven Artist Commissions
The WOVEN in Kirklees Festival has been supported by funding from Arts Council England and Kirklees Council to support the development of work in three areas of Kirklees: Dewsbury, Kirkburton & Birkby and Fartown.
Each area will work with artists in collaboration to develop knowledge and understanding of art and nature, with a focus on natural dyes.
Artist collaborations will involve and work with the communities to develop new ideas that explore nature, textiles, climate change and well-being, and the collaborations will be expected to develop together towards a shared outcome.
The seven selected artists are:
- Nicola Perren – Kirkburton Nicola paints draws and explores textiles. Making her own paints, pigments and inks has been central to her practice for many years and in the last eight years she has developed particular expertise in quilt making. Nicola has taught textiles for over 26 years which includes primary through to higher education and adult learners and runs community-based groups.
- Seiko Kinoshita – Non-Local Artist Seiko is a Japanese artist who creates large installations and sculptures, often using traditional textile and craft techniques. She also loves working on Public Realm projects that focus on local heritage. In her practice, she is interested in how slow and dyeing craft techniques have a future within our ever-changing fast-paced society, and how those old traditional techniques can exist within the contemporary art arena.
- Cherry Styles – Birkby & Fartown A small-press publisher and gardener, Cherry’s practice spans art projects and educational activities within community settings.
- Michaela Lesayova – Non-Local Artist Michaela works intensively through ecological frameworks which inform all her art. Having experienced a repeated loss of health and ongoing chronic health complications, her approaches and artistic practice explore our relation to our local environments and the impacts that urban-centred living has had on our well-being and creativity.
- Jane Howroyd Dewsbury With a strong foundation in textiles including a Master’s degree and PhD in textiles, Jane has over 20 years of experience working as a workshop facilitator. Her interest in natural dyeing started over 20 years ago when she first became interested in historical dyeing processes.
- Waheeda Kothdiwala – Dewsbury Waheeda is a project worker at S2R, facilitating creative, outdoor and well-being workshops. Seeing the beauty in the small things and inviting others to share in the experience, her sketchbook is how she sees the everyday world around her, believing that every sketch has a story to tell.
- Natalie Linney – Non-Local Artist Natalie is a Manchester-based artist and educator working with textiles, form, pigment & print. Using traditional methods she creates striking and delicate patterns which emerge in unpredictable ways to reflect the materials used and the place in which it was produced. Natalie is interested in fusing traditional crafts with modern design wishing to preserve these methods and update them for modern usage.
‘Growing Colour Together’ Talks
These three free online talks from leading natural dyers will take place in February 2023. Project manager Elnaz Yazdani and Dr Rowan Bailey from the University of Huddersfield will be introducing the talks and hosting a Q&A closing discussion for each one.
The speakers will be:
- Mariana Leyva and Janette Terrezas – Tuesday 14 February, 5 pm – 7 pm
Mariana Leyva is a fashion designer and textile artist who works solely with natural dyes and organic materials
Janette Terrazas is a passionate textile artist from Mexico who teaches women living in vulnerable conditions textile design, upcycling, botanical dyeing, and gardening botanical prints using ecological and sustainable methods.
- Cara Marie Piazza and Hannah Ross (Hanoux) – Tuesday 21 February, 5 pm – 7 pm.
Cara Marie Piazza is a natural dyer and artisan based in New York City. She creates one-of-a-kind textiles only using natural dye stuffs such as botanicals, plant matter, minerals, non-toxic metals and food wastes.
Hannah Ross, also known as Hanoux, is an educator, artist and clothing designer dedicated to using solely regenerative materials.
- Deborah Margo and Lucille Junkere – Tuesday 28 February, 5 pm – 7 pm.
Deborah Margo’s work combines different disciplines including sculpture and multi-media ephemeral installations. For the past five years she has been making dye gardens on urban and rural sites; mindfully foraging dye plants; making natural dyes and applying them to a variety of textiles.
Lucille Junkere is an artist and researcher of Afro-Jamaican heritage, specialising in botanical and mineral pigments and hand and machine embroidery. Her research focuses on the legacies of colonisation and slavery in African Caribbean textile history.