I visited a fascinating art installation at Belper Mill: Part of the Fabric, created by Tan Draig, OBE.
At first sight, it’s a web wrapped around the pillars supporting the cast iron structure of Belper’s North Mill.
Remarkably, this maze is one long continuous thread, enough to weave a man’s suit out of.
As Tan told the Derby Telegraph: ‘The idea of the web is that it reflects the tight spaces that the mill workers laboured in.
They were constantly surrounded by noisy machines in great long rows, all running with miles of cotton threads that were being spun, doubled and finished.’
This woven ‘tunnel ‘ ends in an opening which contains a free-standing structure.
Visitors are invited to write about a favourite piece of clothing on a strip of cloth which they can then be attached and form part of an interesting collection of textile related tales.
I was fortunate to find a couple who were wandering around the installation, clearly fascinated by it.
I also added a slightly surreal take on the installation by creating my own art: a subtle movement of the camera as I hand held it in order to create a sense of a haunted past.
As you’ll also see in one of the photos below, there are minuscule figures representing mill workers – 500 in all.