Pattern, print, music, poetry, textiles
Where does the process of collaboration with a design archive begin and where does it end?
Each painting in Gleneden represents a commission, an illustrated answer to a request, painted by someone whose name is not recorded. A theme was chosen, research begun, inspiration gathered. Perhaps an earlier archive was examined. Already we have a collaboration between the commissioning merchant and the designers at the mill who painted the image that was to be woven on a jacquard loom. The loom, itself the conclusion of an unofficial collaborative chain, culminating in the 1804 invention of Joseph Marie Jacquard, being based on the earlier inventions of Jacques Vaucanson (1740), Jean Baptiste Falcon (1728) and Basile Bouchon (1725) before him.
Once painted the pattern would be plotted on gridded paper, or a lattice graph may be superimposed and drawn in pencil on top of the painting. Card pressers would translate the designs on to a punched card, made up of columns and rows relating to the gridded squares drawn on to it. Individual cards corresponding to one row of the design, would be stitched, or laced together in a continuous sequence as a chain of cards which could be fed into the loom. Each card reliant on those before and after to complete the cycle. The loom operator could now control the motion of the threaded rods as they either fell through holes or were blocked by the lack of an absence allowing the shuttle to pass, back and forth, building patterns row upon row. This chain of collaborative production would continue through singeing, shrinking, finishing, wet processes, and inspection, on further through merchants and sales to the final stages of manufacture and production before the designed products enter the market to be sold.
This first collaborative chain of events has ended, but others are still possible. Producing new work inspired by an archived design sheet feels like a collaboration between the original artist and the person taking inspiration but this chain can also expand further.
Shown here are examples of new collaborations with Gleneden. There are samples produced by students working in teams, taking Gleneden images in unexpected directions and there are sound and vision collaborations where experimental films made by one person were passed to another to be interpreted musically, by being played / improvised to as a moving graphic score.
If you are interested in collaborating, there are some downloadable materials ready to be worked with either by individuals or groups. Email to discuss collaborative projects or to send your versions (painting, drawing, music, poetry etc.) as conclusions or contributions to a further collaborative chain. They may be displayed here, worked with or made accessible for others to develop.