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Work of textile art unveiled at City Hall
It has been a year in the making.
As the drapes came down unveiling the appropriately-named ‘Threads That Bind Us’ – the fruits of many months of hard work and commitment to a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee project were revealed for all to view.
Among the audience gathered in the beautiful wood-pannelled banqueting hall at Bradford City Hall yesterday, a building bestowed in pomp and grandeur and a legacy of the city’s wool wealth, were the young and older members of the community, the school children and senior members of society who collaborated in their ideas to bring the 10ft work of textile art to fruition.
It was – as Roger Bowers, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire who unveiled the wall hanging, explained – also made possible by the sponsors and supporters including Bingley-based Curtis Wools Direct Ltd, the British Wool Marketing Board, the Worshipful Company of Woolmen, the Freemasons, James Hare Silks and Woolmark.
The Midland Hotel in Bradford and the Lord Mayor’s Sprinkle Sunshine Appeal, set up by Councillor Dale Smith during his mayoralty in 2012/13, have also contributed to the project, accomplished under the instruction of local artist Morwenna Catt and her partner Lucas Stephens.
They interpreted the children’s story scrolls along with the textile badges and brooches created in the workshops into designs using donated wool, velvet from Denholme Velvets, material from Bradford Industrial Museum and vintage fabrics left over from community projects.
Beautiful green leaves creating a 3D effect illustrate the city’s green spaces identified as favourite places by the children who worked on the project, and a cascading wave of blue reflects the dancing fountains in City Park.
Co-ordinated by Patrick Kerry, practice support officer at City Hall, Mr Bowers said the wall hanging was a ‘long-lasting legacy’ created by a group ranging in ages from six to 76.
“The work has been designed and made to fit into this splendid banqueting hall,” he said.
“The dramatic colours reflect the wonderful stained glass. The predominant colour is green which reflects the numbers of Bradford parks, a Victorian legacy of the textile industry and, of course, the beautiful countryside.”
Elaine Bergin, a teaching assistant at Our Lady and St Brendan’s Catholic Primary School in Idle – one of 16 primary schools in the district which took part in the project, said the children’s inspiration came from a walk around the area taking in the former home of Bradford-born artist David Hockney, who appears on the wall hanging, along with Saltaire’s landmark mill and the Alhambra Theatre.
Jean Walker, chairman of Bradford and District Senior Power, said: “It shows a lot of Bradford’s past but I am glad to see so many children here because they are the future and that is what we should be looking at.”
Elizabeth Peacock, a past master of the Woolman’s Livery Company, said: “It is a wonderful piece of history.”