This new installation made visible the complex and mathematical science of yarn dyeing.
Reacting to the intricacies of Blackburn Yarn Dyers’ colour mixing lab, Manchester-based artist Daksha Patel responded to her intense residency where she worked side by side with the expert skills of yarn dyers. Connecting Yarn was a beautiful interpretation of the protein molecule, kerotene – found in wool – turning the complex and highly mathematical science of yarn dyeing into a visual spectacle. Using wool, light manipulation and found objects from the factory floor, this series of sculptural structures explored the relationship between the fibres and chemical process, whilst gently exploring the long history of women’s work inside the factory and craft work at home.
Blackburn Yarn Dyers was founded in 1915, providing yarn dyeing to clients worldwide from the heart of Lancashire. Working with leading fashion and interiors brands in the UK and internationally, the company offers a range of products and services in support of the textile industry as well as hand-knitting and craft brands, with dyeing and bleaching remaining at the core of its trade.
Daksha Patel is an artist who works at the crossroads of data and drawing with a practice that extends to printmaking, animation and installation. Colour, light and mapping are emerging themes in Patel’s work, which has also been influenced by a series of residencies in scientific environments, including LifeScience at the University of Dundee and The Christie Hospital in Manchester. Her work makes visible what is immeasurable, illusive and unseen.
“I’m interested in the hidden geographies that link Blackburn’s textiles industries to different places: chemical dye manufacturing to yarn dying; garment design to garment production. Through these processes Blackburn Yarn Dyers is deeply inter-connected to places across the globe.” Daksha Patel, Artist