Through interviews and visual research, Sam Meech has developed a series of works in response to and in collaboration with the knitting factories who share Crusader Mill with Rogue Artists Studios. Together they playfully experiment with the traditional artists’ portrait, explore the notion of ‘uniqueness’ in digital art and knitwear production, and propose an internet-age copyleft christmas jumper. Binary scarves, appropriated patterns and even knitted punchbags, feature in this unusual exhibition of knitted textiles that gives an insight into the factory life and the people who work there.
As neighbours to Rogue, businesses such as Dream Knitwear, Imperial Knitwear and Unique Knitwear often cross paths with Rogue artists on the old stairwells of Crusader Mill, but rarely do the communities cross-over. Since April, Sam Meech has been tentatively building relations with the workers and business owners, sharing his own practice and conducting initial visual and technical research into their working environments and manufacturing processes.
This residency has allowed him to find parallels with his own artistic practice using domestic knitting machines, and also identify opportunities to potentially creatively document their work and experiences, and collaborate in developing new artworks and even new knitwear.