During 2012 artist Rosie James created 'The Ordsall Tapestry', a textile hanging on display in the 16th century Great Hall of Ordsall Hall. The artwork represents residents past and present of the Hall and Ordsall.
A variety of methods were used to create the piece including screen-printings, applique, and both hand and machine embroidery. Rosie led a series of workshops with local people to explore ideas and stories for the textile hanging, Images from the Hall, people who have lived in and around it over the years, and stitched drawings of local people who helped make it are all woven into the artwork.
A bit more about the Ordsall Tapestry...
The Ordsall Tapestry celebrates 700 years of history of the Hall and its surrounding communities. Using hand and machine stitching, as well as screen-printing, appliqued recycled fabrics and digitally printed fabrics; the piece took a year to complete and depicts over 100 figures from Ordsall past and present as well as featuring patterns and images from the Hall itself.
The figures depicted in the piece portray a crowd of both modern people and the historic characters that once lived in the Hall. Artist Rosie James led a series of workshops with local groups to gather ideas and stories for the piece. During these sessions she photographed people to put into the artwork. The photographs taken during her workshops were then used to create the stitched drawings of each individual and their unique characteristics.
The Hall itself holds many stories from throughout the centuries, but it is the local people who bring these stories to life. Rosie wanted to visually tell their stories and to say something about each of them as individuals in a crowd. Those shown in the tapestry include local primary school pupils, parents, children and staff from Primrose Hill Sure Start Centre, belly dancers from St Clements Church and members of Start in Salford.
Also pictured are visitors from Ordsall Humphrey Booth Day Centre. One of these visitors is Annie Whitehead, who grew up in the Ordsall area. Annie's mother worked at Worrals Velvet Mill every day, when she returned from work, her hands would be dyed a different colour. Can you see Annie, with dyed blue hands, in the tapestry?
The tapestry links modern residents of the area with residents from the past, as running along the top of the piece are images taken in the 1930s of a variety of groups from the area.
Quilted wall hangings
In the Great Hall you will also see two quilted wall hangings. These were lovingly hand made over 18 months by a voluntary group, Quintessential Quilters, in Eccles who used natural dyes and traditional techniques to create these pieces. They feature symbols taken from throughout Ordsall Hall and the initials R and E, which stand for Radclyffe and Egerton, two prominent families in the Hall's past.
For more information about this project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0161 872 0251.