Sunny Bank Mills - Archive research Residency
June - August 2021

-- Creating Archive fictions --

Exploration of archival processes through 3D scanning and model assembly. 

Bags containing suits and suit fabric gently defrost on a large table after a stint in the freezer to eliminate clandestine moths.


Rusted cauldron pot pulled from flooded dye pond - exact dates unknown

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Exploring the Dye Garden

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Sunny Bank Mills houses a Dye Garden that is home to a large number of plants with dye properties. Plants are categorised by their use and which part of the plant is useful to the dye. 

Root, stem, leaves, petals

The archive contains hundreds of dye recipe cards detailing the instructions and mixture needed to create a certain dye. Some dyes were impossible to make the same twice. Weather, water quality and human error all affected the colour. The cards show scrawled notes of the dye persons amendments to the recipe.


Gorse (Ulex europaeus) - pencil and chalk on paper 


Experiments in creating fictional fabrics, using material swatches from the Sunny Bank Mills archive to speculate abstract warps and wefts.

This video was created by training a machine learning model to generate imagery using a data set of existing material and fabric. Some imagery of the architecture of the archive was also included in the data set. The resulting video moves through latent space, grabbing artificial images as it moves.