Making Connections: Langholm Made

Exploring and highlighting Langholm’s rich history and heritage in textile manufacture.

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Making Connections. Photo by Lucy Macleod
Making Connections. Photo by Lucy Macleod
Making Connections. Photo by Lucy Macleod
Making Connections. Photo by Lucy Macleod
School workshops at Langholm Academy
School visit to Drove Weaving
Schools project development work
Schools project development work
Primary School activity pack
Morag Macpherson
Schools Project window exhibition
Schools Project window exhibition
Schools Project window exhibition
Langholm Made booklets
Langholm Made booklets
Table cloths designed by Deirdre Nelson with drawings from the local primary school

Making Connections is a new Upland project which aims to enable artists and makers to explore and highlight Langholm’s rich history and heritage in textile manufacture.  Working with local organisations, Outpost Arts and the Langholm Initiative, Making Connections consists of two artist residencies and a schools project.

The residencies are currently being undertaken by D&G based artist Emma Dove and Glasgow based maker Deirdre Nelson.

The schools project has already been completed by Kirkcudbright-based textile artist Morag Macpherson and you can read more about that on the dedicated project page here.

Langholm: Made

Langholm Made seeks to explore and celebrate making past and present in Langholm - a town with a rich textile history and vibrant in contemporary and domestic craft and making.

For Langholm Made, artist and filmmaker Emma Dove will be collecting stories and memories of the weaving industry in Langholm. Alongside Emma, maker Deirdre Nelson is interested in exploring and celebrating making in Langholm in its widest sense.

Emma is looking for people to contribute stories and memories in order to create a series of recorded conversations. These might be memories of working in the mills, it might be knowledge, skills, or a particular story that has been passed down through the family, or it might be more recent experience, for example weaving activity happening in Langholm today. The recordings will take the form of either individual conversations with Emma, or paired up conversations, for example with a friend, a family member, or with a present or former colleague. Due to the current restrictions this will be done online or by phone.

As a part of the Langholm Made project Emma created 'infinite hands' short film programme, showcasing films spanning 1945 to the present day, which observe and celebrate the roles played by women across the weaving and textile industries in the UK and worldwide. Find out more about the programme here.

Deirdre is looking for people to share what they have been making both within studios and at home. During lockdown many of us have been making more and Deirdre would love to find out what you’ve been making. Examples could be making or mending in your shed, baking, cooking, knitting, woodwork, fly tying. You may have mastered the perfect cappuccino, bread, a new crochet stitch or a new technique in DIY.

Emma and Deirdre say of the project: “When we’ve each worked on similar projects before, people have frequently told us that they’re not sure they have anything to contribute. Often, we don’t realise or recognise the value in our own knowledge or memories. But it’s exactly these stories and experiences which interconnect to make up our local cultures, and that’s something that we are both really interested to capture and celebrate with this project.”

 As a final outcome to this project Deidre will be making an artwork which will take inspiration from your making, as well as stories gathered through Emma’s recordings. We hope to exhibit the artwork in Langholm later in the year.


If you would like to share your making, get involved in the conversations or just find out more - there's a number of ways to get in touch:

Visit the dedicated Facebook page to share your images and stories of making here.

Email Emma & Deirdre: [email protected]





Deirdre Nelson & Emma Dove Artist Talk (delivered on 8th July 2021)

As the project came to a close Deirdre and Emma discussed the work which they have produced and how this fits into each of their own wider, ongoing practices. They also reflected on the process of the project and the experiences and challenges faced in trying to connect with a community and its heritage remotely.

About the Artists
Emma Dove 

Based in rural Dumfries & Galloway, Emma Dove is an artist working in film, sound and aural history. She regularly collaborates with other artists, musicians, academics and scientists. 

Previous projects have explored relationships to place, notions of home and personal memory, engaging with local communities to create immersive works layering long-take video, voices and field recordings. Completed works have been presented at exhibitions and festivals in the UK, Italy, Sweden, Romania, Brazil, Mexico and India.

Deirdre Nelson
An Irish artist/designer based in Glasgow. Deirdre creates textiles which explore humour, place and social history. She partners traditional techniques with contemporary processes such as digital print, creating work not only to be exhibited in galleries but also as part artist residencies, education and community projects. She enables the communities she works with to explore social and environmental issues through making.

Deirdre studied textiles at Glasgow School of Art 1992 and a M. Philosophy in 1996. She has exhibited internationally and nationally and undertaken residencies both in the UK and Australia.

Deirdre developed a connection to Langholm through two years working on Arts Across the Curriculum Project in both primary and secondary schools in Langholm.


The Making Connections project is funded by Creative Scotland, The National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Archie Sutter Watt Trust.


 **Due to Coronavirus, some of our projects may be postponed or have been adapted to fit with current restrictions**.
Please check indiviual project pages for details or if you are unsure please get in touch: [email protected]


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