Motorvehicle students are the driving force behind Textile Biennial


Blackburn College Motor Vehicle students have rebuilt a classic Ford Escort as part of a headline exhibition for the British Textile Biennial.

Students Renee Clawley, 17 and Mel Buck, 18, both from Blackburn, volunteered to strip down a Ford Escort at the College, cutting it into two parts, before taking it to the Cotton Exchange on King William Street where they spent two days rebuilding it.

The car is part of artist Jasleen Kaur’s commission for The British Invasion which also features artists Masimba Hwati, and Blackburn College lecturer in Fine Art Jamie Holman.

The British Invasion will examine complex issues through family history and experiences, to look at the residual cultural identities of the British Empire.

Ged Linnane, Blackburn College Curriculum Lead for Motor Vehicle, said: “We were approached to get involved in the project in June.

The students have stripped down the car and have transported it to the Cotton Exchange where they are building it back up for Jasleen Kaur to then work on as part of this exhibition. It’s a fantastic experience for our students to get involved in something that’s so different.”

Mel Buck, 18, from Blackburn, who is studying a Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Principles has been working on the car, she said: “It’s been great to be involved in the project, it’s a unique experience and it’s been a really great way to improve our skills.

“There’ve been quite a few challenges along the way where we’ve had to think of new ways to overcome the problems. I’m really intrigued to see what it will look like when the artist has worked on it.”

Blackburn College is a delivery partner in the biennial with staff and students contributing their expertise and gaining valuable industry work experience.

The collaboration has also included students taking part in Patrick Grant’s ‘Field of Flax’ project, where unused land was turned into a field of flax and woad during spring and summer 2021, to be turned to thread which will be woven during the biennial.

30 Sep 2021, 16:11 PM