‘Mr Arkwright’ by Jo Fairfax located at Cromford Mills, Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.

Image credits: Lisa Daniels


The interactive art installation created by Jo Fairfax is a water and cycle-powered drawing machine which takes inspiration from Sir Richard Arkwright’s early career as he started out his journey as entrepreneur, inventor and architect of the modern factory system. The installation makes reference to Arkwright’s water-frame, a water-powered cotton spinning machine which was a starting point to large scale production of cotton thread. Where the water- frame made cotton thread, this machine makes drawings!

Funding for this project is thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England’s pilot programme of Great Place Schemes across England looking at the importance of culture in placemaking. The installation forms part of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site’s Scheme working to bring arts and heritage together, and enhance a sense of pride and belonging to this special part of the world. This is the first of 3 major temporary commissions produced by Beam.

Find out more on the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site website.

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