Jeni McConnell Making History

Artist Jeni McConnell looking at TH archives to inform a project for Festival of Making

Artist Jeni McConnell came to visit us and our photographic archive to help with her project for the National Festival of Making. Jeni is working with Blackburn clothing manufacturer Cookson and Clegg as part of the festival’s ‘Art in manufacturing‘ project.

A co-commission between Super Slow Way and Festival of Making, Art in Manufacturing has placed 9 artists with 9 of Lancashire’s most innovative, world leading manufacturers. Together they will create work that will be revealed at festival in Blackburn town centre on the 6th and 7th of May. From clay to injection moulded plastic to tissue paper – artists are working with the materials of Lancashire’s artisan industrialists, discovering their processes, methods, technologies and personal memories to create contemporary works that expose a proud local manufacturing heritage.


Already Jeni has uncovered some fascinating history about Cookson and Clegg who have been manufacturing in Blackburn since 1860, and can trace their roots back to the town centre. She had been struggling to find images of their original building but after an hour or so sifting through our archive collection, she came up trumps.

She is still working on ideas for her final piece for the festival, but we are certainly looking forward to seeing how she incorporates all this history and heritage into a modern piece of art.

Tour the works, meet the artists and get your hands on manufacturing materials at the National Festival of Making.



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