Ipswich Threads is a RADF funded project to celebrate Ipswich’s woollen textile heritage through art.
Ipswich’s first mill, the Queensland Woollen Manufacturing Company began with a prospectus in 1874, gathering investors, purchasing land, to open its factory doors three years later.
The mill site, situated on the river end of The Terrace at North Ipswich is state heritage listed.
Ipswich Threads is a collaboration between artists Deborah Baronas and Janis Hanley.
Deborah was a textile designer for mills in the USA and Europe.
When the mills closed, Deborah established her art practice in a former mill space in Rhode Island. Her artworks use translucent, layered textiles to tell the stories of industrial pasts.
Janis Hanley’s doctoral research was on Ipswich’s woollen textile industry, interviewing former workers from across the three woollen mills in Ipswich: The Queensland Woollen Manufacturing Company, the Ipswich Woollen Company at East Ipswich, and the Morris Mills at Redbank.
The idea for Ipswich Threads started a few years back and they were successful in receiving RADF funding from Ipswich City Council and State Government.
The main feature of this project is to draw attention to the woollen mills of Ipswich, and those who worked there, and the importance of their role in establishing Ipswich as Queensland’s manufacturing city.
As part of the RADF funding Janis and Deborah will be hosting several workshops, ‘Archives to Art’.
The aim is to work with the techniques of artist Deborah Baronas to create an exhibition to celebrate Ipswich’s woollen mill heritage.
Janis and Deborah invite anyone interested in this project to take part in these hands-on workshops which will be to visually interpret the history Ipswich’s Woollen Mills.
You will learn techniques to conceive and create 3D textile artworks, as well as the tools, planning and fabrication to build an exhibition.
The goal is to inspire artists to participate in the Ipswich Threads exhibition planned for 2024, to celebrate 150 years since the first mill company in Ipswich was formed.
Workshops are free to attend, but booking is essential.
They are at Firestation 101 until August 24.