'Making Connections - Langholm Made' is a new Upland-led project which aims to enable artists and makers to explore and highlight Langholm’s rich history and heritage in textile manufacture and making.
Working with local organisations Outpost Arts and the Langholm Initiative, Langholm Made consists of an artist residency, a commission, a schools project and a satellite programme of events and workshops.
Langholm Made seeks to explore and celebrate ‘making’ past and present in Langholm - a town with a rich textile history and vibrant in contemporary and domestic craft and making.
For Langholm Made, artist and filmmaker Emma Dove will be collecting stories and memories of the weaving industry in Langholm. Alongside Emma, maker Deirdre Nelson is interested in exploring and celebrating making in Langholm in its widest sense.
Emma is looking for people to contribute stories and memories in order to create a series of recorded conversations. These might be memories of working in the mills, it might be knowledge, skills, or a particular story that has been passed down through the family, or it might be more recent experience, for example weaving activity happening in Langholm today. The recordings will take the form of either individual conversations with Emma, or paired up conversations, for example with a friend, a family member, or with a present or former colleague. Due to the current restrictions this will be done online or by phone.
Deirdre is looking for people to share what they have been making both within studios and at home. During lockdown many of us have been making more and Deirdre would love to find out what you’ve been making. Examples could be making or mending in your shed, baking, cooking, knitting, woodwork, fly tying. You may have mastered the perfect cappuccino, bread, a new crochet stitch or a new technique in DIY. Emma and Deirdre say of the project: “When we’ve each worked on similar projects before, people have frequently told us that they’re not sure they have anything to contribute. Often, we don’t realise or recognise the value in our own knowledge or memories. But it’s exactly these stories and experiences which interconnect to make up our local cultures, and that’s something that we are both really interested to capture and celebrate with this project.”
As a final outcome to this project Deidre will be making an artwork which will take inspiration from community making, as well as stories gathered through Emma’s recordings. We hope to exhibit the artwork in Langholm later in 2021.
(below: Painted slates and stones made during lockdown by several anonymous residents to boost community morale)
The schools project was undertaken by Kirkcudbright-based textile artist Morag Macpherson. Morag worked with pupils from Langholm Academy and Langholm Primary school between January and April 2020 to enable the pupils to create their own work in response to the project themes. So far the group have worked with Morag to create stunning printed textile pieces (see below)