Helen Farrar

Knitted fish installation by Helen Farrar inspired by Bradford College Textile Archive

"A 1954 printed fish design with a hand drawn quality, from the Americas Collection, was the archive piece I ‘picked’ for inspiration. Fish have enormous appeal to me; their beautiful unique markings and colouring, and the soothing, harmonious way they swim together as one, taking full advantage of the water currents. I see this as a metaphor for the historic textile industrialisation of Bradford.

Fabric sample held in Bradford College Textile Archive which inspired Helen Farrar's work for Pick and MixWhether entrepreneurs, investors or the workforce, the numerous  merchants, scourers, combers, spinners, warpers, weavers, finishers, testers, burlers & menders, machinery designers, fabric designers, and dyers all swam together to create the great, industrial city of Bradford. Each one complemented the industrial shoal whilst still retaining their rich uniqueness.

My hand-knit wool installation ‘mix’ captures a moment from our textile heritage. No two fish are the same, to symbolise the diversity of the fabrics designed and manufactured here. Traditional weave structures were translated into 3D knitting patterns not just to represent the scales and colourings of the fish, but also to remind us of the entrepreneurial craftsmanship of our forefathers."