Four Ladies, Three Museums, Two buses and a Chicken Shawarma

The People’s History Museum, Whitworth Gallery, &Platt Feields Gallery of Costume.

Manchester Cloth took a long anticipated day out to visit some Manchester museums and galleries.

We met up in the morning at the People’s History Museum, keen on viewing the banner collection. We found there was a lot of information to take in while only a few of the banners from their collection were on display. Things that got us excited: filigree scroll work, lettering and hand painting, decaying/conserved fabrics and paint work, quality of stitch and materials. We got talking about a banner we might make in the future and what our message could be…

Banners in the collection of the People’s History Museum.

A short bus ride later we arrived at the Whitworth Art gallery to admire the exhibition banner that Mandy made for Global Threads, using her multi-head stitch machine. The exhibition was a contrast to the PHM, being quite sparse. Again, our favourite pieces were the fragile degraded Egyptian textiles sparking discussion about the universality of the stripe in utilitarian cloth and the fact that weaving hasn’t changed in all that time. We liked the colour combinations from the centrally-positioned woven piece by …… The movement of the weaving featured in the video pieces was also interesting, as a  performance.

After a quick but lovely feed at Jaffa in Rusholme, our last stop was the Platt Hall Costume Gallery. Looking through the decades of costume and accessories we were inspired by the details of pleats, tucks, buttons and garment construction and wondered how we might include these processes in projects to come. It was interesting to see the accompanying exhibition from the 62 Group who were responding to the costume collection with individual textile pieces.  Seeing their responses helped us to reflect upon the nature of our Exquisite Corpse project and how we were responding to each others work.

Buttons & dresses from the collection & a piece from the exhibition of work by the 62 Group, by Hazel Bruce.

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