Rochdale Town Hall

Earlier this year saw the reopening of Rochdale Town Hall after an incredible heritage restoration.

As part of this project, I was commissioned to co-create new work with Rochdale Women’s Welfare Association and Rochdale Youth Group inspired by The Mayor’s Parlour.

The decor of this space is fantastical, dreamlike, playful and exudes the beauty of the natural world, mythical creatures and folklore. Throughout a series of practical workshops, we explored nature inspired design and symbolism by creating our own printed textiles and motifs. 

We discussed the idea of being ‘Mayor for the day’, delving into ideas, desires, positive actions and activism for the future of the town.

The work created in these sessions informed the design of the final artwork for the Mayor’s Parlour and collaborating with Alena Ruth Donely, she fabricated a bespoke rug for the space.

Its shape takes an organic form and alludes to the possibility that it might be a living thing.  Inspired by nature, this piece is bold, colourful and brings the ‘outside inside’ which in itself is an extension of the existing decor of this room and also connects to the importance of our connection to nature. We also used premium quality wool yarn from local supplier, Fairfield Yarns in Rochdale. 

The ceiling of the room features the tree of life and the Garden of Eden which includes the forbidden fruit – glistening golden apples suggesting things that you might want but they are just out of reach.  I subverted this by making the golden apples attainable giving the groups I co created with a voice in this space.  The  golden apples,  also hand tufted with wool, have a ‘bite’ taken out of them. Inside the recess of the bite features hand screen printed sentiments from the groups hopes & visions for a future and ever changing Rochdale.

I loved spending time with people from the community and to have the opportunity to bring their creative expression into this beautiful space and of course working with Alena to make a truly ambitious and bold idea come to life!

Rochdale town hall is now open to the public, go check out the victorian gothic beauty in all of its glory