For the past month at the Cathedral we have had the pleasure of displaying the Tear and Repair exhibition by fine art and textile artist Nicola Moody. Tear and Repair saw Nicola working in collaboration with Luton-based charity Azalea, who ‘empower men and women to choose to walk free from being caught up in sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation’. Through the charity Nicola was able to learn the stories of five women, inspiring five woven artworks, each one an interpretation of their stories in the language of textiles.
As a part of the exhibition, the people of Bradford were invited to take part in a ‘community weave’, trying their own hand at weaving and giving a better understanding of Nicola’s own work.
What do you think of the handiwork of those who contributed to Bradford’s ‘community weave’?
“It’s great! Lovely to have lots of different people involved and it’s great to see which bits are from Bradford because the other three community weaves are from the nine other Cathedrals so most of them are a combination of two. The lower bit of this one is from Worcester Cathedral and then the top bit is Bradford so it’s great that it gets to go on tour and take with it different people’s handiwork.”
What are your plans for the exhibition pieces and the community weaves now?
“So there is a plan for it to be exhibited in Luton, which is where the charity is based but the plans keep changing because of Covid! The plan was originally to have it in the center where the charity is but that can’t happen anymore so the next plan is to have it in the big church in Luton which is the nearest thing we have to a Cathedral there!”
“The most important thing though is to ensure that the women whose stories have been told here are able to see the work. It’s quite something that it’s been to all these big Cathedrals and their stories have been shown in these settings and yet for a lot of them their lives are such that they’re not able to visit so it’s really important that they get to see them.”
Have you got any new projects in the pipeline?
“Well, I’m currently doing a doctorate in fine art at the University of Hertfordshire which is related to how weaving can be used as a metaphor because it is often used as a metaphor linguistically but actually I’m exploring the knowledge that there is in the physical act of weaving. So that’s taking most of my time at the moment!”
“I’m looking a lot at weaving as an art form and hoping to generate work from that but as yet it’s still early days- I started in the summer so I’ve still got two and a half more years. So just exploring the knowledge that is in weaving and how that can be used in other spheres.”
“I just want to thank everyone really. Bradford has been really flexible- the exhibition has developed a life of its own and now we’re in Bradford which has been wonderful, but this is the last official location so I feel very privileged to have been here.”