The Bindings project took place during 2004 with artists Tan Draig (textiles) and Lucy Banwell (writing). It was run by Fleet Arts. Together they ran over 60 workshops with community groups and schools along the Derwent Valley, and worked with nearly 600 people. Lucy also talked with mill workers and local historians to find stories or information about the Site, and artist Tan Draig was commissioned to make two art-works.
Tan used the ideas and art-work that came from the workshops, and incorporated them within the exhibition pieces which are on view at the Silk Mill Museum, Derby and Sir Richard Arkwright’s Masson Mills.
Entitled Spheres of Influence they represent the way that technologies developed in the Derwent Valley and have spread around the world. The ‘threads’, which make up the spheres, are bound with over 2 miles of stories from the people of the Derwent Valley; the colours of the spheres are from ledgers and sample cards in the museums; the ‘metallic’ elements inside some spheres represent cogs, bobbins and the World Heritage Site logo; and the ‘tails’ running from the spheres follow the meanders found along the River Derwent.
Following her workshops Lucy used photos of the textile spheres and writing from the workshops to make an origami globe. Linked in shape to the textile spheres it gives the viewer the intriguing challenge of reading just sufficient amounts of the writing to get a feeling for the atmosphere and content of the writing.