Our Biennale’s ‘Shoddy’ project manages to start at Fairfield School following a van theft!

Working with Jane Howroyd, a textile artist from Kirklees, children at Fairfield School will have the opportunity to learn about fibres and fabrics through sensory investigation and the opportunity to create a variety of textile crafts which are going to be combined into a final textile sculpture. The sculpture will then be exhibited online and/or as part of a Biennale Finale outdoor event in June 2021, depending on government guidance.

Over the last few months Jane has been making packs to go into the school. Just two days before these packs were about to go into the school, all of the packs along with Jane’s van were stolen! So, thanks to support from the school and Our Biennale, Jane was able to remake the packs and still get them ready to go into the school for the children to enjoy.

You can see some of these packs in the photos below. There are lots of activities planned for the children including fabric painting, wet-felting and making recycled textile rings which are all going to be combined into an exciting textile sculpture.

Shoddy fabric is wool fabric made from a combination of recycled wool and new wool fibres. West Yorkshire especially Heckmondwike, Batley and Dewsbury are famous for Shoddy fabric and in Victorian times, mills imported waste fabric from Europe especially Poland, Germany and Denmark. The fabric was then sold to America and Canada to be used for items such as clothing and blankets. Inspired by this rich textile history we are going to create a textile sculpture based on the shoddy industry in this area.

Even with COVID and a stolen van, we’re determined to make sure that the children can enjoy this project!