Kerry Lemon has been commissioned through the Dewsbury Creative Town Arts programme to create a permanent artwork inspired by the cultural heritage of the town that will be integrated into the floorscape of the new Dewsbury Market.
Kerry engaged residents and schools in her design development through the Shoddy Factory event.
Kerry invited local residents, schools and community groups to bring their favourite fabrics to be photographed, photocopied and woven into a huge community paper quilt.
“It was really great! I was excited because I didn’t know what people would bring. What I loved is the fact that people clearly spent a lot of time trying to choose what they wanted to bring to best reflect them.
It was lovely that we captured all these stories alongside the photo of the textile they brought, I have also got their written record of what it is and why it matters to them, which is going to help inspire my artwork for the market.”
The Shoddy Factory was designed to foster pride, ownership and ensure a strong genuine link from the artwork to the people and place. It enabled the community to celebrate their local heritage, inspire creativity, develop confidence, learn artistic skills and shape, influence and contribute to the final artistic outcome for Dewsbury Market.
Kerry engaged 158 children, families and adults from across the town including a wide range of groups; Afghan Women BTB, Empathy Group, Hatch, Al-Furqaan School, Pentland School, Madni Academy, Manasamitra, Sharing Skills Group and The Branch Christian School.
As part of the community engagement and legacy for this project, lead artist Kerry Lemon is mentoring locally based artist Harriet Lawson throughout the wider project with an initial focus on The Shoddy Factory.
The Shoddy Factory was designed as a circular project – everything purchased for the community remained within Dewsbury and was left with Kirklees College to be distributed as needed: the set, laminators, paper, stationery, badge machine and museum cases.
Kerry Lemon is a high profile, UK artist who has worked all over the world. Based in Brighton, she specialises in public realm and large-scale retail and commercial installations as well as sculpture, painting, drawing and collage. Her work takes inspiration from travel, local plant life, landscape and history.
Photos (c) Kerry Lemon. Photo of Kerry Lemon (c) Bruce Fitzgereld