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Deveron Projects

The Town Is The Venue
Where in the world is Huntly? Where in the world is Huntly?

Priya Ravish Mehra

Making the Invisible Visible

2011

If there’s a hole in a’ your coats, I rede you tent it;
Robert Burns
Looking at textile traditions with the assistance of darners Intekhab Ahmad and Zakir Hussain

Priya came to Huntly in autumn 2011 with her son Udayan, and two darners from the Rafoogari tradition, Intekhan Ahmad and Zakir Hussain.

In Scotland the linen boom of the 18th century gave rise to Huntly’s own unique textile history. The knitting factory on Gordon Street finally closed its doors in the early 1990s. And while our relationship to textiles is largely dominated by mass production and cheap purchases, there is also a growing interest among young people for upcycling or mending to make unique and affordable pieces.

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Together with two invited members of the Rafoogari community, Intekhab Ahmad and Zakir Hussain, Priya’s project worked in parallel with this indigenous tradition to highlight the hand skills needed in today’s context, linking the past with the present. During Priya’s residency numerous new and traditional Scottish garments and textiles were brought in to the empty shop for invisible repair by Intekhab and Zakir. Demonstrations, workshops and events were also undertaken throughout the residency, reaching out to the local textile and craft community.

For her final presentation Priya hosted a Craft Maker’s Tour of Huntly on 29th October. This event showcased over 15 contemporary craft practitioners’ talents and skills, and was presented in various locations throughout Huntly. There was also a chance to take a guided walking tour of Huntly’s Textile Heritage, adapted for Deveron Projects by local textile historian, Joanneke Kruijsen-Boyd. The route was marked with interactive textile artworks and ended at the now closed Brander Museum where a shrine to the textile industry, created by Priya, had been installed. Later that evening local revellers were greeted by Diwali-meets-Halloween lanterns and celebrations.

        

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