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Introducing our next Artist-in-Residence: Emily Robson

Emily Robson is a hand loom weaver and watercolour painter who creates collections of cloth based upon seascapes and other artefacts she collects from the seaside. With her handwoven cloth, she creates accessories designed to be cherished by the consumer for years to come and sells them through her brand, Swell. Sustainability is a huge factor in her work, and she only uses natural fibres such as wool, cotton, nettle, seaweed and pineapple. Emily is passionate about being part of the next generation of textile designers working to create a more planet friendly industry.

Wigan was a huge weaving hub in the 1800s. Although the subject of Emily’s practice is usually the British Coastline, during her residency she will be researching the history and heritage of weaving in Wigan and the surrounding area and creating a collection of cloth inspired by her findings. Emily will be exhibiting the work produced during her residency in December, as well as delivering some workshops where you’ll get to explore the materials Emily uses within her practice and try out hand weaving on her loom.

Emily will be taking over our Instagram over the next couple of weeks, posting behind the scenes content as well as presenting her research about the weaving industry in the region. She’ll also be doing a live weaving demonstration on Tuesday 2nd March at 6pm, and a live Weave-Along on Thursday 4th March at 6pm - we hope you can join us!

Free Events

We’re hosting a series of online events so you can follow Emily’s project and get hands-on too!


Instagram Takeover - Monday 1st March - Friday 12th March

Emily will be taking over our Instagram account during her residency, sharing behind the scenes content as well presenting her research about the weaving industry in the region. If you’re not already following us you can find us at @wiganSTEAM.


Live Weaving Demonstration - Tuesday 2nd March, 6pm

Join us over on Facebook for a live demonstration of hand weaving with our current artist-in-residence Emily Robson. Emily was originally going to be based in our gallery space with her loom, available for people to drop-in and observe the craft that dates back over 10000 years. Due to restrictions unfortunately this isn’t possible - so we thought we’d bring a demonstration to you at home instead.

Let us know you're coming here.


Weave-Along - Thursday 4th March 6pm

Join us for a live weave-along over on Instagram on Thursday 4th March at 6pm. Our current artist-in-residence Emily Robson will be teaching our Creative Director Louise to weave using simple household materials - and you can join in too! This is also a chance to hear more about Emily’s practice, her residency project, and the history of weaving.

Let us know you're coming here.

You will need:

  • A piece of cardboard which is at least 10cm x 10cm, corrugated works best

  • A ruler

  • A pen or pencil

  • Some scissors

  • A variety of yarn and string

Make sure you’re following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get the latest updates about the project and get notifications when we’re going live.


Women’s Work: talk with Writer Julie McKiernan - Tuesday 9th March, 7pm

Join writer Julie McKiernan for a talk exploring the work of the Lancashire Female Cotton Operative through fact, fiction and personal testimony.

Find out more about Julie McKiernan here

This event will be taking place on Zoom and you must sign up beforehand to receive a link.

Sign up for free here


Let us know what you think about the project via our social media and if you have connections with the weaving industry in the borough or beyond then we’d love to hear from you!


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