A brand-new exhibition, featuring the work of the talented members of the West Yorkshire Print Workshop, has opened at the Sunny Bank Mills Gallery in Farsley near Leeds.

The exhibition, which launches the gallery’s 2023 programme, showcases how the artists respond to the word “source” and what it means to them.
Source is part of a programme of exhibitions and engagement at the gallery that celebrates textiles and their pivotal place in the West Yorkshire community and economy.

Creative director Jane Kay explained: “Sunny Bank Mills produced high-quality worsted cloth that was shipped worldwide, but it is rooted in Yorkshire and its landscape: water, hills, sheep and stone.
“The textile heritage of Yorkshire, the weaving of wool into cloth and the stories of the people who worked in the mills is both our heritage and that of many West Yorkshire villages and it is this that we want to celebrate in 2023.

“Source is a statement exhibition to start the year and I am very impressed by the imaginative way in which the artists have responded to the brief. The breadth of the subject matter, the variety of printmaking techniques and the overall quality of their work is exceptional.

“2023 is the 10th anniversary of the Gallery, marking 10 years of arts and culture at Sunny Bank Mills which we are celebrating all year long alongside our Archive and the regeneration of the Mill, its industrial legacy as a weaver of fine worsted cloth and its future,” said Jane.

Source features work from; Angela Hall, Bianca Wallis-Salmon, Clare Carter, Clare Phelan, Fiona Armer, Graham Riding, Helen Campbell, Helen Trevisiol Duff, Ian Wrench, Janine Burrows, Jim Bond, Judith Brown, June Russell, J.D. Lewis, Kathryn Fox, Liadin Cooke, Maggie Thompson, Nobuo Okawa and Susan Wright.

One of the printmakers, Clare Phelan, explained how Sunny Bank Mills had provided inspiration for her work. She said: “The Ghost in the Machine series in this exhibition was produced following research done in the Archive at Sunny Bank Mills. I became fascinated with the reuse of an old wages’ ledger due to global paper shortages in 1928. Peg plans, designed to programme the textile looms, were physically cut and pasted onto the pages recording the names of mill workers.

“This duality of information, a record of man and machine, appear together in The Ghost in the Machine series as they do in the wages’ ledger, offering a visual narrative of life in the mill."

Established in 1984, West Yorkshire Print Workshop is the largest open access printmaking facility in Yorkshire. Nestled in the heart of Mirfield, the workshop supports, nurtures and promotes creative talent through the joy of making prints.

Source runs until Sunday March 5. Opening times: Tuesday-Saturday 10-4, Sunday 12-4. Closed on Mondays. Entry is free.