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Cotton: labour, land and body

Exhibition / Installation

Partner Programme

17, 21   —    24 Sep 2022

Craft, Art / Collectibles

Crafts Council Gallery

44a Pentonville Road

London

N1 9BY

Cotton explores the impact of historic and developing relations between Britain and South Asia through the cotton industry in Lancashire. Featuring work by artists Raisa Kabir, Brigid McLeer, Bharti Parmar and Reetu Sattar commissioned by the British Textile Biennial 2021.

For thousands of years, cotton has been skilfully cultivated from seed to yarn and crafted into garments to support a growing expansion of trade and consumption. Today, cotton remains one of the most profitable crops in the world. We all own something made from cotton. In this exhibition, we explore the impact of this ubiquitous material on historic and developing relations between Britain and South Asia through the cotton industry in Lancashire. Featuring work by artists Raisa Kabir, Brigid McLeer, Bharti Parmar and Reetu Sattar commissioned by the British Textile Biennial 2021, it captures the impact of cotton production on labour, land and the body. Through textiles, films and works on paper, visitors will be taken on a journey through punched khadi paper, echoing Gandhi’s campaign to end British rule and boycott imported cloth; to coded Bangla script and job titles of production-line workers captured in handwoven and jacquard textiles, contemplating the legacy of imperial textile archives; to the exhaustion of cotton pickers and the tragedies that take place in modern garment factories. In partnership with Super Slow Way and the British Textile Biennial