British Textile Biennial returns to Lancashire with new artists

British Textile Biennial returns to Lancashire with new artists

British Textile Biennial 2021 (BTB21) returns this year with new artist commissions, exhibitions and performances presented against the backdrop of the impressive infrastructure of the cotton industry in Pennine Lancashire.

This October, the Biennial turns its attention to the global nature of textiles and the relationships they create, both historically and now, with a major new commission by Turner Prize winner Lubaina Himid, fashion historian Amber Butchart as guest curator, a ground breaking, sustainable fashion project with designer Patrick Grant and a collaboration with artist James Fox and actor Maxine Peake. The final element of the programme is announced with C.P. COMPANY CINQUANTA, a retrospective of the Italian Sportswear company’s 50th anniversary.

In line with celebrations for the brand’s 50th anniversary, C.P. COMPANY will be taking part in the British Textile Biennial 2021 programme, presenting a retrospective dedicated to five decades of Italian Sportswear, and Massimo Osti’s lasting legacy.

Blackburn with Darwen’s Executive Member for Growth and Development, Cllr Phil Riley said:

“This is a fantastic project and we’re delighted to support it. Thanks to Gary Aspden and his continued dedication in getting the best for Blackburn and Darwen – following the popular adidas exhibition now another international brand is holding a major event in his home town. Gary’s ability to bring major companies to the borough is simply exceptional.

“As the world starts to recover from the pandemic, we all need reasons to feel optimistic about the future, and it’s good to see the Textile Biennial growing and bringing new cultural ideas and audiences to the borough and the wider region.”

Emerging artist, Azraa Motala is creating a new series of painted portraits in a co-commission with The Harris, Preston where, as a young, aspiring artist she did not see herself represented on its walls. Unapologetic challenges the ongoing narrative of “otherness” and provides a platform for an overlooked community of young British South Asian women from Lancashire, too often invisible and unheard, whose painted portraits will be displayed in the Harris collection and reproduced on banners, hung on civic buildings in Preston, Blackburn, Pendle, Accrington and Burnley.

Taking place in Darwen, Lancashire, from 1 – 10 October, the display will feature exclusive C.P. Company archive pieces from throughout the label’s illustrious history. An arrangement of activities will run alongside this exhibition, including student workshops and panel talks, which will include speakers from the brand, as well as respected names in sportswear and casual culture.

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