Working with Manufacturers

Collaborating with Industry

Art in Manufacturing places artists in residence with factories. To date, the programme has commissioned 28 artists to work with 21 artisan and mass manufacturers. As the relationships have developed, we’ve been astounded by the connections created by artists working in industry – the residencies create a platform not just for the making of new work, but for sharing experiences and connecting across boundaries.

For artists whose work can be limited by the scale of their making facilities, an open door to a factory is a unique opportunity – but it goes much further than access to machinery and materials. We are working at the intersection of art, industry and place; the immediate visual outcomes of the commissions, from sculpture to choreography, have their own value, but the programme is having a deeper impact on the perception of place and identity.

Art in Manufacturing allows collaboration with 100s of members of the workforce who share their time, knowledge and creativity to make artworks from sound pieces to sculpture. Manufacturers reflect that the learning is shared – that working with an artist may influence thinking and ‘new ways of doing things’ – in an already innovative space the opportunity for experiment and inquiry between artist and industry is limitless.

“I had never done anything like this before and found it to be a challenging and rewarding experience. I am very proud of what we created and hope that the public enjoy the exhibition as much as I enjoyed contributing to making it. The exhibition is unlike anything I have seen before and is truly something unique.”

James Parkinson, Trainee Packaging Designer, Cardboard Box Company



“I think we are drawn to the unknown. We and the artist have no idea what this relationship is going to bring and I think that is really exciting.”

Eleanor Spensley, Spiroflow

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