Elk Mill Shopping Park in Oldham, Greater Manchester
The Spinners, 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 Shopping Park.
Inspired by the cotton cops that were once spun at Elk Mill 'The Spinners' contain ‘yarns’ in the form of short, three line, Haiku poems (5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables). These Haiku's were written by Cathy Crabb, Oldham Poem and Playwright, and each one represents a personal memory or written story local women shared with Cathy and I during 4 workshops we ran at Age Concern and Oldham Library during the summer of 2015. A select poem from each cop was translated into Bengali and Urdu. The small cotton cop has Haiku's relating to childhood, the large those relating to mid-life and the medium to old age. Stories are organised on the cops from top to bottom going back in time. The texture of the cops represent cotton at it’s various stages of production from the cotton bale at the bottom, to lap, sliver, slubbing, roving and finally yarn reflecting the spinning process at the old Elk Mill. For me they relate to the passage of time and consistency of human relationships and experiences through the ever turning cycle of life.