Shoddy project at Fairfield School – The Sculpture

Artist Jane Howroyd has been working with pupils at Fairfield School creating a sculpture inspired by the shoddy trade in Kirklees. Here, Jane tells us how it went:

“Since starting to plan this project before the COVID pandemic, it has been an amazing journey through the various lockdowns and other restrictions we’ve had to finally see this sculpture come together.  It has been amazing seeing all of the wonderful components created by the children at Fairfield School.  Watching the final piece of work emerging as one sculpture as the children’s creations are all linked together has really been a wonderful experience.

From the fabric on the frame to the rings which form the bulk of the sculpture, each element is created from recycled fabrics and inspired by the diverse places where shoddy fabrics were once imported into West Yorkshire.  The work has been collaboratively created by the children, culminating in a final piece of art work that has taken all of the children’s creative talents to create an art work whilst still maintaining social distancing and adhering to all of the limitations created by the COVID pandemic.

The bright colours of the work are inspired by the traditional fabrics and clothing from some areas in Poland where fabrics were imported from into Dewsbury, Heckmondwike and Batley to be recycled and remanufactured into shoddy fabrics for export to places such as America. The stripes and beads often found in this clothing were the inspiration for the eclectic colour range of fabrics used which we can see reflected in the final sculpture. The wide varieties of textures and colours in the fabrics also allowed the children to investigate and explore a range of textures, patterns and colours through art, craft and sensory investigation.

The sculpture is now ready for its exhibition as part of the Biennale Finale.

I am so excited for the children to see the final work and to spot their contributions to the work and hopefully to come up and touch, feel and investigate the final sculpture!”

By Jane Howroyd

Read Jane’s first blog here