Nov 2012 - Summer 2013
A taste of the 2012 Cotton Exchange Project between Gujarat, India and NW England, curated by young professional and Co-producer Katherine Wynn.
In the Indian state of Gujarat lies the city of Ahmedabad. It may feel a world away from the North West of England but its heritage is closely interwoven with that of Lancashire and Manchester through the cotton industry.
The Cotton Exchange Project seeked to explore this shared legacy.
In January 2012, a research trip to Gujarat was undertaken by seven young people, known as ‘Co-producers’ of the Project and seven staff from six museums and galleries across the North West.
They visited textile mills, factories, studios, community art organisations, artists, textile artisans and craft makers. They compared contemporary to historical; cultural to economical and industrial to traditional.
The Cotton Exchange Project also supported artists from the North West of England and India in a residency exchange programme – the Harris was one of the host venues for the Indian artists.
Historical similarities and cultural relationships inspired these artists to create new work that revives England and India’s shared heritage in cotton. Three of the exchange artists, LOkesh Ghai, Steve Dixon and Shamji Vishram Siju, feature in the display here.
The eight display cases feature artist and Co-producer work; cotton industry artefacts from museum collections; textiles and other items collected on the research trip to Gujarat; sections of a poem written by Co-producer Charlotte Ridge - inspired by her experiences in Gujarat and photographs by Hayley Moses Walsh, another one of the Co-producers on the research trip.