Silk Is The Soul
360 video, mixed-media installation, interventions by groups of young people in heritage sites
Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Cheshire East Council and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, with support from Macclesfield’s Silk Museum, Cheshire East Library (Macclesfield), Cheshire Archives & Local Studies Centre, Barnaby Festival and Treacle Market.
Silk is the Soul is a 360 video exploring the silk heritage of Macclesfield with a new perspective.
Derelict mills left behind from the peak of the industrial revolution become the backdrop for a series of interventions, performed by young people from the town, and using silk processes as inspiration.
We need to reinvent ourselves
Older, taller, wiser,
Weave some new collective patterns
The power to listen
The power to feel
I would grow ears
I would grow a heart
I would heal people
I would heal our wounded society.
I would make people feel good about who they are.
Strings of every colour,
No patterns the same.
The film becomes a surreal dream, revealing what silk means for these young people who have never experienced the silk town in its full bloom. Through the traces, the stories left behind, the walls falling apart or turned into new ventures, it exposes the fears and the dreams for the future of the town and the future of the world.
The silk road has given way to the world wide web, the hand-to hand trading of the silk has been replaced by the click-to-click on Ebay, Amazon, Alibaba. The connections between countries are still there but taking on a different form.
Created at a time when climate change and overproduction and overconsumption are urgent matters for our global society, the video becomes a metaphor for imagining new possibilities. What if, as the silk worm, we should consider ourselves big enough and stop growing, what metamorphoses would we see as a society? What butterfly would we become? Do we still have the ability to fly and to dream or are we doomed like the silk worms?