Year 12 and 13 students from Fine Art and DT spent the day exploring a range of exhibitions in Blackburn city centre, as part of the first ever British Textile Biennial. Students were accompanied by Mr Birtwistle and Mr Windle, as they started their day at the city’s Cathedral, meeting local artists Emma Colbert and Lee Smillie.

Here, students took part in a screen printing workshop and viewed the ‘T-Shirt Cult’ exhibition on show at the Cathedral.

The group then moved on to Church Street to view the ‘Transform and Escape the Dogs’ installation and exhibition, by artist Jamie Holman. Jamie treated the students to a fascinating insight into his work and the history of Blackburn, before the group headed over to Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery to view Aaron Dunleavy’s short film on ‘Community Clothing’.

The film documents the lives of Blackburn’s textile factory workers and is playing at the venue until Sunday 3rd November, as part of the month-long biennial being held across the city centre. The event is shining a spotlight on the nation’s creativity, innovation and expression in textiles and fabric as a means of expression, held against the backdrop of the cotton industry in Lancashire.

The final stop of the day was at Blackburn Cotton Exchange, where students and staff enjoyed a private viewing of the Adidas Trainer Exhibition and a personal Q&A session with former QEGS pupil and designer of the Adidas ‘Spezial’ range, Gary Aspden.

Gary inspired the group by giving a unique and personal account to his attentive audience, discussing Blackburn, his time at QEGS and his respect for his former teacher, Mrs Arkwright. Students heard about Gary’s own journey into becoming a designer and how he enjoyed Art more than anything else at school, resultantly turning his passion into a career. Full of inspiration, students then designed their own ‘Spezial’ Adidas trainer, including a QEGS-branded design proudly showcased by Year 12 student Poppy.

The students will use what they learnt across the day to help inspire their current projects, and maybe even their future careers too!