Chard Museum: Research Visit

Caitlin Heffernan

My project working with Chard museum is an exciting opportunity to delve into the history of the town and respond to the collections of the museum. I work site-specifically and on a large scale, with a variety of soft sculpture materials and textile based installations.

I have been researching their collections and  in particular have been fascinated by the town’s past industrial heritage and links to textiles and clothing over the last century.

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The museum holds part of the lace factory machinery which was from the  Holyrood Lace Mill based in Chard, where they produced different types of netting fabric. D7A70B4B-5228-446E-A326-3ED44C075905.JPG

I have been especially interested in researching women in industries connected to Chard. I made these discoveries on a research and development visit a couple of weeks ago and I also met some ladies who had grown up in Chard when I was based at the museum over a few days.

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They used to work as hairdressers in the town and recalled how on a Friday evening all the factory workers would pile out and want their hair washed and set ready for the weekend. Often their hair was powdered with a graphite substance which would have come from the machinery.

I am gathering together lots of different sources to help me develop my installation.

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