2025 Festival Dates: 5 & 6 July

Art in Manufacturing Season Four – first commissioned artist revealed

26th September 2019

After three years of artist and industry collaboration, we’re delighted to launch the Fourth Season of Art in Manufacturing with a residency between artist Raisa Kabir and manufacturer John Spencer Textiles, in association with Queen Street Mill.

The artist will show new work at both the British Textile Biennial in October 2019 and the National Festival of Making in 2020.


To date, 22 artists have been paired with manufacturers whose work in textiles, paper and engineering have links to international making industries – historically, with Lancashire’s rich making heritage and within a global manufacturing community of modern making. The commissioning programme, a collaboration between National Festival of Making and Super Slow Way provides artists an incomparable platform to make new work in and alongside major industry. Artists co-create with factory workforces who share skills, craftsmanship and personal histories that often directly inform artistic outcomes that interlace traditional techniques and materials with challenging and contemporary ideas.

The first Season Four artist to be revealed for 2020 is Raisa Kabir, an interdisciplinary artist and weaver, who utilises woven text, textiles, sound, video and performance to materialise concepts concerning the politics of cloth, labour and embodied geographies. She has participated in residencies and exhibited work at The Whitworth, The Tetley, Raven Row, Cove Park, Textile Arts Center NYC, and the Center for Craft Creativity and Design U.S. Her research into non mechanical looms, bodies and machines, has taken her to Mexico and Bangladesh.

In this special co-commission between National Festival of Making and the British Textile Biennial programme, Raisa Kabir will be in residence with textile factory John Spencer Textiles, a family owned weaving business, and will also explore the industrial textile heritage of Queen Street Mill in Burnley. 

The artist begins her residency with a durational performance at Queen Street Mill, cross referencing the connected emotional geographies of industrial space with the local and global histories of Pennine Lancashire’s textile and craft heritage.

“Treadle softly; tightening your warp, weaving our weft…binding her braids tightly. The performance takes place between 12-4pm, 19th October at Queen Street Mill, Burnley 

During Raisa’s work in industry, she will encounter the textile archive at Queen Street Mill, as well as contemporary industrial textile production at John Spencer. The artist will work in collaboration with local residents during her residency to design and collate a new ‘woven’ archive. This archive will be formed from local personal narratives as well as historical contexts, to be accumulated into woven patterns to create a future Pattern Book of Lancashire.

The Art in Manufacturing residency will culminate with a show at the fourth National Festival of Making on 6th and 7th June 2020.

Art in Manufacturing showcase at British Textile Biennial

Alongside the work of Raisa Kabir, artists Anna Ray and Daksha Patel show work that has evolved from their 2019 Art in Manufacturing residencies in factories across the area, re-presented in response to Queen Street Mill. 

Anna Ray, whose work straddles craft and conceptual art worked at Forbo Flooring Systems who produce commercial flooring across two sites in Lancashire to produce the Offcut series. 

Working at the crossroads of data and drawing, Daksha Patel worked with Blackburn Yarn Dyers who provide yarn dying to clients worldwide from the heart of Lancashire. 

Art in Manufacturing at Queen Street Mill can be seen from October 2nd to November 3rd during the museums opening hours – Thursday to Saturday from 12-4pm. 

Find out more about the British Textile Biennial performance and the wider programme here.

Photography Credits: 

1- Julian Lister 2 – Ashanti Harris 3- David Oates 4- Anna Ray 5- Daksha Patel



2019 Trusts & Foundations

The National Festival Of Making Delivery Team

National Festival of Making is supported by the Arts Council England, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Brian Mercer Trust and Foundations and Partners. This project is part-funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

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