Artist in Residence / The Living Room, Stalybridge

In September I was appointed as the Artist in Residence for The Living Room, an integrated online and physical archive dedicated to the town of Stalybridge, commissioned by We Are Local and the Bridge Consortiutm.

Throughout my residency, I conducted a series of playful creative interventions and events in collaboration with the local community, which included the Stalybridge Disco at Ridge Hill, textile printing at WEAVE, ‘Come say hi ‘ave a potato pie’ at Bridge Beers, Stalybridge Slogans at the Library. I even managed to sneak in some interviews at local hairdressers-co working space, Industry, whilst people were getting their hair coiffed.

I wanted to capture the different narratives, nuances and lived experiences of the town’s residents, creating a snapshot of memories and moments in time. The response from the people of Stalybridge certainly exceeded expectations. 

Over the course of the month, we laughed, listened, cried, danced, sang, created, ate pies, drank pints and nattered endlessly. From memories of the brass band, activism, the local chippy, broken hearts, Whit Friday to raucous nights on the town and the collective aspiration for an enduring sense of community and unity.

The culmination of these conversations, including sound bites, interviews, photographs, and the Stalybridge DISCO Spotify playlist, is now accessible on the Living Room online archive.  Follow the link in my bio to have a look and listen, there are so many rich and interesting stories to discover. 

If I didn’t get a chance to meet you during my residency, there remains an open invitation to contribute to The Living Room by uploading your own items to enrich the continually expanding living archive.

In addition to the archive, I created a series of digital textile designs to commemorate my residency and the launch of The Living Room. Drawing inspiration from the original textile prints printed by community members at the WEAVE festival.

Another textile design,’Community Spirit’ originated from the Stalybridge Slogans workshop at the Library.  A recurring theme throughout my residency was the profound significance of the community in Stalybridge, a sentiment that resonated with me personally and one for which I am immensely grateful.