The Event of the Thread, 2014
The Event of the Thread was a live sculpture created on the 28th September 2014 on the former tenter fields of Higher Mill in Helmshore, UK. The work draws on the areas former activity, its development as the mills closed and the industry became memorialised, and the expression ‘On Tenterhooks’, to explore the shifting relationships between people and place.
The collaboratively made sculpture lasted for one day and involved over 70 people and 35 houses from the local community as a continuous line of thread was passed by residents back along the mapped lines of the tenterframes. As it was passed from hand to hand over gardens, fences and roads, weaving through houses, in and out of letterboxes, windows and doors, the sculpture traced a line across time, public and private space, temporarily connecting different lives and times, people and places.
A limited edition book, provides an overview of the project ‘The Event of the Thread’. It includes an essay ‘To be Helmshore – Navigating the Undercurrents of Landscape and History’ by Dani Abulhawa discussing the historic background to the project and the unravelling of the live event and extracts of a conversation between Paulette Terry Brien (Director, International 3) and artist, Hannah Leighton-Boyce. Photograhs of the live sculpture, archive images and maps accompany the text. The book is lithograph printed on Conqueror high white woven paper and hand finished with a foil embossed cover. The book is available to buy here
The Event of the Thread was commissioned by Helmshore Mills Textile Museum and Lancashire County Council and funded through the support of Arts Council England.