Bolton Museum spins out promising new film commission as part of the Cultural Olympiad

By Richard Moss | 06 September 2010
a cut and paste animation still featuring cut outs of factories and pieces of textiles
Emily Howells and Anne Wilkins' film Spin Span Spun explores Bolton Museum's local history collection
Two young Manchester-based artists, Emily Howells and Anne Wilkins, have been interpreting Bolton Museum’s industrial and art collections for a Cultural Olympiad film project.  

As part of the Stories of the World scheme, which encourages young people to work with curators and artists to interpret UK museums collections, the pair have been studying the Museum’s Surrealist art works and documentary photographs from the 1930s. They also visited the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester to make drawings of machinery.

The resulting animation Spin, Spun, Span, references the North-West’s industrial textile heritage and features Samuel Crompton, the Bolton-born inventor of the industrial revolutionary Crompton’s Spinning Mule. The speed of the film also conveys the rhythm and movement of mills and the beauty of machinery.

“The chance to delve into Bolton Museum’s archives has been brilliant, poking about old machinery and cloth samples has been really fun, and we hope our enthusiasm will show in our film,” said Wilkins.

Graduates of Kingston University, the artists won awards and plaudits for their first animation, A Film About Poo, which conveyed the importance of washing your hands.

The new film will be shown in Bolton Museum’s new Local History Gallery, which opens at the end of October 2010. The artists will also be leading a one-off masterclass workshop for children or young adults at the museum in the future.

Stories of the World is led by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) in partnership with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).
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