Artist Bella May Leonard, who studied and now lives in Manchester, has created a sculptural installation, inspired by the inner workings of the Barnoldswick-based bed maker. The installation, which has been commission by Silentnight as part of the festival’s Art in Manufacturing exhibition, will be on display in Blackburn this weekend.
Named Human Hands, Bella’s creation offers an interactive insight into Silentnight’s manufacturing history, giving visitors the opportunity to view a unique structure built out of beds as well as getting involved with the bed making process.
Bella says: “I wanted to create something that really reflects the rich manufacturing history here in Lancashire, so for me, a partnership with Silentnight was the perfect fit. Human Hands enables visitors to visually explore the inner workings of a factory and as the title suggests, I’ve really tried to capture the human side of the bed making process.
“Of course powerful machinery is used in the making of a mattress these days, but hands are still essential part of factory life; measuring, sewing on labels and moving fabrics and materials around. A factory’s workers are its heartbeat and that’s what the exhibition encapsulates. It’s a playful interpretation of Silentnight's processes. I hope visitors will really make the most of its interactive elements, getting stuck in with some sewing, enjoying the art and immersing themselves in the manufacturing process.”
Silentnight’s product strategy director, Angela Moran, says: "We loved collaborating with Bella and it’s been fantastic to see Silentnight’s manufacturing history come to life in a piece of art; Bella has really captured the hands-on work that we do here.
“It’s particularly significant that the festival is in Blackburn where nearly a quarter of people work in manufacturing, it’s the perfect celebration of the hardworking people in the town and in Lancashire as a whole.”
Bella May Leonard is one of eight artists to have paired up with British manufacturers for the National Festival of Making. Human Hands will be on display in the Crypt of Blackburn Cathedral at 9am - 4pm on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th May.