Football Exhibition Celebrates Macclesfield’s Silk Heritage
By Gillian Taylor on Jan 10, 2017
Souvenirs From Home
9 Jan to 2 Feb
Launch – 1pm Sat 14 January 2017
The Old Sunday School Heritage Centre, Roe Street Macclesfield SK11 6UT
An unlikely combination of football and craft have provided the inspiration for an exhibition which includes specially created silk football shirts made by Silkmen fans.
The exhibition is the culmination of Home Ground, a national project which celebrates the cultural heritage of football clubs with nicknames inspired by the local craft industries that have shaped their communities.
Silkmen supporters took part in workshops with artist Zoe Hillyard to create one-off “souvenirs” reflecting the silk industry which gave the city’s football club its nickname.
The workshops explored the participants’ experience of being Silkmen fans and living in Macclesfield, while collections of local silk at the Silk Museum and Adamley Textiles provided inspiration. Silkmen supporters created a series of souvenir football shirts, inspired by the idea of a signed football shirt as a treasured possession. Fans also made a collection of silk covered buttons, inspired by Macclesfield’s prolific silk button production, which was established in the sixteenth century. Mother and baby groups, match-day visitors, behind the scenes club catering staff and players all left their mark on silk fabric which was used it to cover individual buttons.
Specially for the exhibition, artist Zoe Hillyard created ‘The Silkmen Cup’, to celebrate the town’s silk heritage and reflect the football club’s determination and strength. The Cup is made using Zoe’s own special technique – ‘ceramic patchwork’ – where she covers individual ceramic fragments in silk which she reassembles by stitching the pieces together.
The use of pottery and silk together takes on a particular resonance as the inaugural match played under the name Macclesfield Town Football Club, in 1876, was against Stoke City – The Potters. These teams, which grew out of their respective trades, clash again in Zoë’s celebratory piece through the mix of silk and ceramics.
Home Ground is a collaboration between the Devon Guild of Craftsmen and six English league football clubs across the country. During the project, supporters and community groups of all ages took part in workshops to create craft inspired by the history and skills which made these places, products and football teams famous.
Erica Steer, Director of The Devon Guild of Craftsmen said:
“This exhibition celebrates the connection between tradition, contemporary craft and our six chosen football clubs. Our artists have used the story of the town’s historic craft industries to connect people and places and build an understanding of the importance of craft in creating a distinctive sense of place, which in turn strengthens communities.
The Home Ground project has given us an opportunity to capture people’s interest in craft through another passion – football.”
The Souvenirs from Home exhibition in Macclesfield is part of a tour to Devon, Walsall, Sheffield, Stoke, Crystal Palace and Luton. The exhibition will be at The Old Sunday School Heritage Centre in Macclesfield from 9 Jan to 2 Feb.
There will be a Football Flags Textile Workshop on Saturday 28 January with an opportunity to join artist Zoe Hillyard to make a silk flag celebrating The Silkmen and living in Macclesfield. Take part at 11am-1pm or 2-4pm. The workshops are appropriate for all ages and abilities, and materials are provided. £3 per person, please book on 01625 613210 or pop into the Sunday School Shop