A FRESH look at Bradford's rich textile heritage, seen through the eyes of 20 artists, is on display at a newly refurbished art gallery.

The Pick and Mix exhibition at the Dye House Gallery at Bradford College, funded by a £15,000 Arts Council grant, brings together artists in several different media, from jewellery to felt to paintings.

The exhibition, months in the making, was opened by Sir James Hill, of the Hill textile family, whose grandfather, also called James, was a wool merchant and served as a Lord Mayor of Bradford.

When they were commissioned, each of the 30 artists visited the college's extensive textile archive. The archive includes pieces, some dating back hundreds of years, from former collectors, fabric workers and factories.

With artists specialising in different fields, with a commission to create anything they wanted and with a vast archive of widely different styles inspiring them, it was unsurprising that the finished exhibition featured a huge variation in styles.

Framed items were made of felt, drawn on notepaper and printed on envelopes, while other exhibits included dyed cloth, glass and pottery.

The Dye House Gallery is a former fabric workshop, and late last year underwent a major refurbishment.

Curator Helen Farrar, who also had some knitted work inspired by fish prints on display, said: "I'm absolutely delighted with the turnout. It shows that a lot of people really care about Bradford's heritage. We have had lots of very positive comments, especially about the diversity of the work.

"There is something here for everyone. It was great to have Sir James Hill here too."

The artists all were inspired by different finds in the archive. June Russell's designs on notepaper were based on her studying of Vint and Gilling hand drawn designs while Liz Clay was drawn to the Bradford Technical College student collection, dating back to the 1890s.

Awards winning children's book illustrator Mick Manning was inspired by a hen and chicken pattern from 1950, and a repeated pattern of flatfish dating back to the 1940s. His partner Brita Granstrom is exhibiting two paintings are inspired by a book of post war fabric samples.

Sheffield-based Helen Parrott produced one of the most striking pieces in the exhibition, a long, thin fabric trail incorporating numerous different styles, from testers to elaborate prints. She took her inspiration from the notebook of Mary Ware, a calico printer, which dated back to 1773.

She said: "I thought it was inspiring that a woman was not only literate in this period, but was also producing such work.

"I decided to make something that was a real mix of styles.

"I didn't have a clue what I was going to do when I started. I first saw the textile archive about 12 years ago, and I remember thinking it was amazing."

The title of her piece, Nine Yards or Thereabouts, came from an old newspaper cutting describing a length of printed cloth that had been stolen.

The exhibition also featured historical photographs of the machinery found in Bradford's numerous textile mills.

The Dye House Gallery, in the college's Lister Building, is open from Monday to Friday, 11am until 4pm; with a Saturday opening on February 7, from 10am until 4pm.

The exhibition runs until February 18.