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Belts and Pulleys, commissioned by British Land, is one of four permanent separate artworks I designed and created to mark the important heritage of the former Cotton Spinning Mill at Elk Mill. 


The sculpture comprises of the salvaged line-shaft wheels in what becomes a new form of balance.  The poetry belts that run around the wheels give the impression of continuous motion and the continuous cycle that reference the pulley wheels that ran the mill as well as the cyclical nature of things/ the daily cycle of life.  I hoped to create the feeling that it is the motion of the ‘belts’ that keep the sculpture upright – and if one was to stop the whole structure might fall down.


The poetry by Cathy Crabb cut into the belts enhances the sculpture by referencing the machinery and processes of the cotton spinning – significantly the spinning Mule through the use of the language used in the Mill but also the sounds of the motion and repetition of the machinery. Many of the words which come from the cotton mills are still used today and the poetry seeks to play on the duel meanings. The work draws reference from the history of the site but also tells a story of two people working in current day, with lives running in parallel but never meeting. The wheels themselves are static but the public to read the poetry must be active. The poetry on each of the three belts is cicrical and can be read in a loops as individual lives or together as one poem.


Metal Work by Andrew Stafford of Special Equipment

Elk Mill in Oldham, Greater Manchester
Belts and Pulleys (2015)
Belts and Pulleys (2015)
Belts and Pulleys (2015)
Belts and Pulleys Close up
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