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Textiles in Practice students delve into Touchstones' archives for new exhibition

9 January 2017

Partnership with the local archive continues to provide 'wonderful' opportunities

The work of Textiles in Practice students has joined pieces by designers such as Ossie Clarke on display at Touchstones Rochdale as part of their exhibition 'Frocks: Dress and Accessories from the Museum Collection'. 

Students were invited to explore the archives of Touchstones Rochdale, one of Manchester School of Art's partner institutions, and to respond to them by creating pieces to feature in the exhibition. 

Jack Mcgarrigle, one of the exhibiting students, stated that working with Touchstones Rochdale was 'a very valuable experience'. 

'As a creative, I found it very stimulating,' Jack commented. 'Right from the beginning of the project, they opened up their collection for us to respond however we liked. I really relished the free reign to take such as comprehensive collection (three warehouses full) of clothing, accessories, furniture and paraphernalia, and create something to reflect the essence of them 

It's a fantastic gallery, with an even more fascinating archive collection and they're really eager to get students involved, which is very refreshing. 

Everyone at Touchstones is really passionate about what they do, from curating the exhibition spaces, to textile maintenance, and organising and filing thousands of donated pieces.

It was great to see my pieces come together, and be displayed alongside so many delicate and old items of clothing, as well as the likes of Judith Bernstein's work been shown in the same building. It was a great coming together of history, design and contemporary art.' 

Senior Lecturer on Textiles in Practice, Lynn Setterington described the opportunity to bring to bring new life to 'rich and untapped local museum archives' as 'wonderful'. 

'This ongoing collaboration with Touchstones has not only bought real opportunities for current Textiles in Practice students, such as Jack. It has also led to employment for graduates. Following a placement with the 'Rochdale Costume Collection in 2014, Sarah Walton was offered a permanent job at Manchester Art Gallery working on historic costumes and textiles.' 

Frocks: Dresses and Accessories from the Museum Collection is on at Touchstones Rochdale until 15 April.