- Ed Kluz
- Colne Valley Museum
- Arts Council England
In Praise Of Makers celebrates the history and making skills of this unique locality of the Colne Valley, Golcar, West Yorkshire. With its identity carved out by the craft and politics of working men and women, Colne Valley Museum celebrates this social history in contemporary terms by an artist whose practice and ethos relates and responds so perfectly with the museum today.
In Praise Of Makers opened on 3 July, announced by a vibrant Banner sited outside, made for this exhibition by McNair Shirts of Slaithwaite and embroidered by the craft class of Colne Valley Museum. Inside the weavers’ cottage museum, the former bedroom has been temporarily transformed by artist Ed Kluz who pays homage to the skills of the past and of today. Working collaboratively with the volunteers, whose skills as weavers, embroiderers and craftmakers have shaped his response, In Praise Of Makers will demonstrate how relevant these skills are to contemporary life.
Artist, Ed Kluz, said:
“Colne Valley Museum is a hub of traditional skills, from cloth and clog making to cooking, storytelling and crafts. Thanks to the revival of cottage industries, the talent stored in this building is as relevant today as it was in the heyday of the industrial revolution. I hope this exhibition helps people remember why we need preserve and protect Golcar’s textile and manufacturing heritage. With so many independent makers in the area, Colne Valley Museum can become a place of learning and help revive traditional manufacturing techniques that risk being lost and forgotten.”
Colne Valley Museum’s dedicated team of volunteers has ensured the building, and marker of industrial heritage, is an active museum, keeping alive the working class history of the area. The museum was awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2020 in recognition of the contribution its volunteers make to the local community.
Melanie Williams from Colne Valley Museum, said:
“What Ed has done is create a collection of artworks and items that presents Colne Valley Museum in a brand new way. Each one tells a piece of our history and champions the traditional skills of the textile industry, which defined this area and became the livelihood of so many people that lived here. We have an important story to tell and we hope this exhibition will help people see why we need to preserve the skills that helped Yorkshire’s textile industry become a global powerhouse.”
Additional items in Ed’s exhibition include wooden-carved biscuit moulds, ceramics, and items from the Colne Valley Museum collection, which all help tell the rich history of the local area.
Stephanie Allen, Executive Director at Arts&Heritage said:
“Ed’s exhibition at Colne Valley Museum includes stories from the local community so visitors gain a deeper understanding about the museum and its role as a family home, an important part of Yorkshire’s textile industry, and as a political meeting place. The work Ed has produced will help visitors experience the museum’s collections in a new way and encourage more people to discover this unique and special venue.”
In Praise Of Makers at Colne Valley Museum opens from Saturday 3 July and runs until 3 October 2021. For more information visit www.colnevalleymuseum.org.uk.
- Realise the potential the museum possesses both within its collection and its people.
- To attract a wider audience.
- Open the horizons of the museum and look towards regular programming of contemporary art events and exhibitions.
As participants in the Meeting Point 2018-2019 programme, Colne Valley Museum was supported by Arts&Heritage through a process of sharing knowledge and presenting contemporary art projects and commissions in non-traditional art spaces.
Six museums based in the North were selected for this Meeting Point programme, and took part in a series of training workshops, visits to artists’ studios and meeting peers at other properties, to learn how they successfully delivered contemporary arts projects at their museums and heritage sites. Museums developed their own Artist’s Briefs.
A networking event between the participating museums and 60 artists from across the UK took place at the National Centre for Early Music, York, following which artists were invited to send in an Expression of Interest to museums that interested them.
Four artists were shortlisted by each museum to draw up a more detailed proposal and were paid £500 each to do so.
Colne Valley Museum selected Ed Kluz for the £11,000 commission in Spring 2019, to produce In Praise Of Makers in Spring 2021 (following delays caused by Covid).
Ed Kluz is an artist, illustrator and printmaker. His work explores contemporary perceptions of the past through the reimagining of historic landscapes, buildings and objects. The ideas of early Romanticism, the Picturesque movement and antiquarian representations of topography and architecture underpin his approach to image making. He has a particular interest in the eccentric, uncanny and overlooked – follies, lost country houses and ruins provide a constant source of inspiration. As a designer and illustrator Ed has received commissions from the V&A, Faber, Folio Society, John Murray publishers, Little Toller Books and St Jude’s fabrics. Ed was born in 1980 and grew up in Swaledale, North Yorkshire. He studied fine art at the Winchester School of Art.
Sophie Dixon at Grace Darling Museum
Grace Darling Museum commissioned Sophie Dixon in Spring 2019 as part of the Meeting Point programme.