Making Connections

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

View all projects 

Making Connections. Photo by Lucy Macleod
Making Connections. Photo by Lucy Macleod
Making Connections. Photo by Lucy Macleod
Making Connections. Photo by Lucy Macleod

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. It will run from January to September 2020 followed by an exhibition at Hawick Museum in October.

Working with local organisations, Outpost Arts and the Langholm Initiative, Making Connections will consist of an artist residency, a commission, a schools project and a satellite programme of events and workshops.

The lead artist residency will be undertaken collaboratively by Dumfries & Galloway based artists/ filmmakers Emma Dove & Mark Lyken who will produce sound and moving image work. This residency will focus on people and stories, weaving together the narrative of the history of the textile mills as sites of making and production, exploring the old mill sites along with engaging with the new mills and the people who work there.

Glasgow-based maker Deirdre Nelson will be creating a new work in response to the Reid & Taylor archive, exploring Langholm's textile history as well as current attitudes to the textile industry and what making means in the community today.

The schools project will be undertaken by Kirkcudbright-based textile artist Morag Macpherson. Morag will work with pupils from Langholm Academy and Langholm Primary school between January and April 2020 enabling the pupils to create their own work in response to the project themes.

Various events will take place throughout the project period. Please check our events and opportunities page the project develops.

About the Artists
Emma Dove & Mark Lyken
Based in rural Dumfries & Galloway, Emma and Mark each have a solo practice as well as working collaboratively. They make films and installations, collaborating with artists, musicians, academics and scientists. 

Previous projects have explored relationships to place, the natural world, 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.

Morag Macpherson
Morag is a textile artist based in Kirkcudbright who works with colourful combinations and imagery inspired by art history, diverse cultures and nature to create her surface patterns. She creates unique patchworks, garments and accessories which are printed on textiles.

Her work has been exhibited and sold around the world. She also works in a community context, including workshops in surface pattern design and street art styles. Previous projects with Upland include Spring Fling Rural Mural and mentoring with the Emerge programme.

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