As part of British Textile Biennial, we spent four weeks in 2019 working in residence at Accrington's iconic Market Hall, running a clothes stall that traded in conversation, not cash. The residency culminated in a one-off performance after-hours in the market, almost exactly 150 years to the day that it had its grand opening in 1869 at the height of the boom in Pennine Lancashire's textile industry.
During the residency, we filled the racks and rails of our stall with loads of costume from our past performances. Customers could take whatever they wanted, in return for conversation. We hoped that material from our old shows might help us make material for this new show.
Inspired by the stories of the traders and customers we met, Material was an attempt to weave together the story of the market, capturing its spirit a century and half after it opened its doors. It was a project that started off being about fabric and the market hall, and ended up also being about consumerism, sustainability, friendship, change and the enduring need for connection.
Market residency: 15th- 19th July 2019, 7th- 25th October 2019
Performance: Saturday 26th October 2019
Commissioned by Super Slow Way as part of British Textile Biennial 2019. Supported by Arts Council England.
Project Producers for Super Slow Way: Jenny Rutter and Jackie Jones
Lighting Design: John Maudsley
Costume Design: Nikki Wragg
Production Managers: Amy Chandler & Rob Athorn
With special thanks to Gillian, Cameron, Norbert, Doreen and all at Accrington Market Hall
Images: Richard Tymon for British Textile Biennial