A historic factory on Wrexham’s Industrial Estate has inspired a new exhibition opening at Ty Pawb in February.
The Redwither Tower may now be part of a thriving business park, but did you know it was once a major factory for yarn-manufacture, spinning and knitting?
The factory was built in the mid 1950’s by British Celanese, and taken over by Courtauld’s in 1958. Nearly 2,000 people worked on the site when it was at peak production, manufacturing products including Rayon, the first manufactured fibre.
A new exhibition at Ty Pawb ‘Uptwist Downtwist’ – named after two departments of the factory – will celebrate this significant part of Wrexham’s industrial heritage.
A celebration of Wrexham’s Heritage
At the end of 2018 Ty Pawb issued an invitation for former staff to get in touch and share memories and photographs of the factory. Those who came forward have since been working alongside artist Don Braisby, and students from Coleg Cambria to create new work on film inspired by the weaving process, memories of the factory, and the factory building itself.
Some of the students’ work has been created within the former factory building, as shown in the image above.
Jo Marsh, Tŷ Pawb’s Creative Director, said: “We are enormously grateful to the factory staff who have been so generous with their time, knowledge and precious photographs for this exhibition, and it has been wonderful to see how much the students have been inspired by what they have learnt.
“The title of the exhibition ‘Uptwist Downtwist’ refers to departments in the factory, and to the movements of the students on film. Archival material and work by the students will be shown alongside film, sculpture and textile work by contemporary artist Will Cruickshank; inviting contemplation of the parallels between the artist’s making process and the weaving processes at the Celanese factory.
“We are really excited about the work that’s been produced for the exhibition, by the artists and the students, and we’re looking forward to inviting everyone to come and discover more about this rich and fascinating part of Wrexham’s heritage.
“The exhibition is intended to be a companion to our upcoming Grayson Perry exhibition, which features large tapestries on fabric. We’re delighted that we’ve been able to weave some of Wrexham’s history into this theme.”
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Lead Member for People – Communities, Partnerships Public Protection and Community Safety, Cllr Hugh Jones, said: “Tŷ Pawb continues to go from strength to strength with it’s vibrant arts programme and the connections being made between the arts and Wrexham’s local heritage, people and organisations.
“The work being produced by the students at Coleg Cambria looks wonderful and we are all looking forward to seeing it presented at the exhibition. Everyone involved should be commended for their work on this innovative approach to interpreting Wrexham’s history.”
Uptwist Downtwist and Julie Cope’s Grand Tour: The Story of a Life by Grayson Perry will be on display at Tŷ Pawb from February 23 – April 22.
For more information contact Tŷ Pawb: