Sudbury set to showcase silk project
Sudbury residents can explore more of the town’s silk industry whilst out on their daily exercise – with woven panels crafted by Creative Young Weavers and the local community now on display.
The Creative Young Weavers exhibition, housed in a shop window in the heart of the town, opened on November 2. Silk woven panels created by the project, funded by the Arts Council of England and Babergh District Council, will be on display until January 2021.
Guided by local textile artist Frin Arnold, participants used mini looms to work with waste cardboard and silk selvedge generated by Sudbury’s silk weaving process. These workshops also provided opportunity for schoolchildren to find out more about the industry.
This initiative follows the success of the recent Sudbury Silk Stories project – showcasing the talented local workforce who produce some of the finest silk cloth in the world.
Plans for Creative Young Weavers to begin in March were put on hold in response to the pandemic and subsequent lockdown restrictions. Following additional COVID-19 secure measures to ensure public safety, the initiative was remodelled, and the project was able to resume last month.
Project co-ordinator Carole Creasey said
“It was a challenge to remodel this project but we have been overwhelmed by the positive response and we are hugely grateful for the continuing support of Stephen Walters, Vanners and the community who all helped us to make this happen.”
With some of the original schools no longer able to take part, supporters of the project and community groups were invited to contribute their own weaving sample for display.
Groups, including Sudbury QH Women's Institute, rallied together to provide 30 samples and this support continued when the project faced the challenge of finding a new venue for the exhibition, due to COVID restrictions.
An alternative space was found with help from local contacts including Sudbury Town Council and the Tourist Information Centre. The vacant shop unit at 2 Market Hill, opposite the library, has been kindly loaned to the project by Carter Jonas and Stephen Maguire.
The exhibition will fill the shop window at Market Hill and organisers are encouraging the public to take a selfie in front of the display whilst out on their daily exercise. This can then be emailed or posted to social media using the information in the window – creating an online celebration and shining a spotlight on the town’s silk industry.
Cllr Derek Davis, Cabinet Member for Communities at Babergh District Council, said:
“We are proud to support this wonderful initiative, which builds on the legacy of Sudbury’s rich silk heritage, dating back to the 1780s, as well as the success of last year’s silk festival and the Sudbury Silk Stories film.
“It is wonderful news that not only has the project been able to resume following COVID, but it has also been extended to enable more of the local community to get involved.
“I’d like to thank all those who have helped the exhibition to go ahead, despite the challenging circumstances. In light of the Government’s recent announcement, I would ask that during lockdown only those local to the exhibition pay a safe socially distanced visit, while out on their daily exercise. Those who aren’t able to visit in person can show their support for Sudbury’s silk industry by participating online.”
For more information about Creative Young Weavers and Sudbury Silk Stories follow the project on Twitter and Instagram, or visit www.sudburysilkstories.com.