In January 2014 Professor Anne Cranny-Francis, Director of the Transforming Cultures Research Centre at the University of Technology in Sydney Australia spent three days with us on her initial visit and hopes to return two or three times a year.
Professor Anne is devising a project which would explore the archive as a site of generation of (trans)cultural histories, investigate the role of aesthetics (intended as the production and distribution of sensory knowledge, e.g. the traffic in designs, primary materials, pattern books) in the making or disrupting of cultural and social configurations, trace the development of networks built through the exchange of raw materials, products and ideas, and explore how the archive can transcend its historical basis and make an ongoing contribution to current and future design.
She said, “This a great resource in the sense of looking back and forwards at the same time. You can see the social history and the design of materials used. This was not just formal. They express the culture of the society that used them. Looking back in time is not just for aesthetics. You can’t look to the future if you don’t know the past. The Bradford College Textile Archive gives you an informed understanding of history. We can look at each of the elements of the time- for instance, patterns and iconography – based on values.”
She is keen to work with us in a collaborative project to use objects from the archives, in both material and digital form, to create artworks and exhibitions that interrogate contemporary notions of culture and of identity and suggest possible futures.