Inspired by the former textile industry at Lennox Mill, Rachel has created a new vinyl installation on the windows of Lennoxtown Library, composed of vibrant colour and pattern. The calico print works was established in the late 18th century and in operation for more than a hundred years, at its peak employing almost a thousand workers.
For the Trails and Tales project, Rachel has created her own collection of pattern samples that draws from the remaining textile samples held within national and local archives. Patterns have been constructed during a laborious process of extracting and fragmenting shapes from printed examples linked to East Dunbartonshire, playfully repeating and re-assembling them to form her own unique designs.
Showing sensitivity to the library building, the patterns selected for Lennoxtown echo the existing architectural features, whilst interacting with the elongated window panels to create the effect of block-printed fabric lengths, similar to those once produced at Lennox Mill.
The artwork subtly intertwines wider local heritage narratives through choice of colour and form, including stories surrounding the former Kali Nail Works, where rusty coloured water is said to have contaminated the Glazert river.
The design celebrates the vibrant heritage of Lennoxtown and skilled craftsmanship rooted within the town, whilst acting as a starting point for the sharing of stories and memories surrounding the industry.
Rachel is an artist from Glasgow, who is currently living in Gothenburg, having recently completed her MFA Fine Art at the Valand Academy.
With a long-standing interest in textiles, Rachel has constructed her own printmaking device with the ability to hand-print limitless lengths of intricately patterned material, similarly to the industrial machines used within calico print works. This unique tool formed the basis for her community engagement workshops, during which children and adults from across East Dunbartonshire were invited to create their own printed design on fabric.please visit: rachelbarron.co.uk