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Zapp, A., 2015.

Paradise Mill

Output Type:Artefact
Venue:Macclesfield, Cheshire and International

This research operates in the design framework of 'Textile Media Narratives', in which documentary photography is applied to apparel and fabric print. A residency at the Silk Manufacture Museum in Macclesfield, Cheshire, offered the opportunity to test this practice from a site-specific angle. An alternative protocol of heritage documentation has emerged in that archival information is expressed through means of conceptual garment design with fabric being a projection screen. The research is driven by factual as well as decorative aims and consequently positions the garments as wearable artefacts.

The work enriches the wider analysis of reciprocal relationships between art practice and fashion design. Ulrich Lehmann (2010). By communicating heritage back into a popular context in the format of a contemporary fashion item, garments can further be equally regarded as objects of aesthetic contemplation or have a practical dimension. Sanda Miller (2010).The outputs were exhibited on site, anchoring the research in the wider field of museum intervention.
In placing the fashion output within the rigid industrial setting, it is possible to return to the museum's permanent collection a greater sense of dynamism and relevance to present-day life. Jessica Hemmings (2006).

In addition, the collecting and processing of archival and architectural information through the photographic lens presents a non-invasive response and methodology, providing 'raw materials' for later reproduction on fabric and enabling the museum to be a free and non-normative zone of experimentation. C. Marshall (2012).

The collection "Paradise Mill", comprising of 13 silk garments and 10 accessories, has been exhibited at International conferences and fashion events. In a commercial research strand, the accessories range has been retailed in the museum shop and online, hence raising the silk museum's profile beyond its regional borders.