The Cloth & Memory audience

436 visitors filled in one of our visitor comment cards. From these responses, we know that:

67% said that C&M {2} was the main reason for their visit to Salts Mill that day (including both first time and previous visitors). This would equate to c.10,000 of total visitors.

27% stated that it was their first visit to Salts Mill, of which over half (16%) had come specifically to see C&M {2}. This suggests that c.2,400 first time visitors to Salts Mill came specifically to see the exhibition.

Nearly three quarters of visitors hailed from the north of England (almost half came from West Yorkshire of which one fifth of the total were from the Bradford district).

Almost a quarter of visitors came from the rest of the UK – including west and north Wales, Scotland (Glasgow, Perth, Dumfries, Ayrshire) and all regions of England (Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Bristol, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Sussex, Kent, London, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire etc). Many of these visitors travelled especially to see the exhibition and some stayed in the area overnight.


Visitor comments were overwhelmingly positive.

• Very interesting. Fascinating space! Loved number 9, real people, real lives. Also loved watching number 11, really interesting to hear the memories.

• Superb! Thought provoking visually, emotionally & physically. It was a sunny day – the light & shadows enhanced an already amazing exhibition. The videos added a lot. I shall visit several times.

• Fascinating & well worth the day trip up from London. So many ideas (I paint) for using items I have

• I’ve really enjoyed the exhibition, it was well laid out and presented and very informative. We liked the idea of the video with more in depth explanation of each exhibit. Fantastic!

• Annie Harrison’s reminiscence work using iPads was brilliant! Love following the drawings and hearing the voices.

• Thoughtful, peaceful, full of hard work and imagination. Local reminiscences, and a glorious feeling of the immensity of the place and its industry.

• A truly remarkable exhibition. Having worked in textiles all my working life brought back lots of memories. Will certainly recommend to others.

• The exhibition was a wonderful use of this magnificent space. The gentle fusion of Japanese and British materials, ideas and skills was a beautiful thing to see.

• An impressive exhibition in a beautiful space. Interestingly placed with sympathy for the surroundings. Particularly likes Hannah Leighton Boyce’s spun yarn.

• Very interesting. Looked at all the exhibits and enjoyed the thoughts that went into the making of the pieces. Good use of exceptional space – loved the smell/sound/light.

• I loved it – it exceeded my expectations! Loved the ‘Reel Lives’ , ‘Shadows of Distinction’ & the rice and the cube ones!

• Brings back very personal memories of the worsted industry – particularly the pervading smell! Giving me much to remember & think about.

• More impressed (artistically) with UK artists especially 4 (Caroline Bartlett) & 10 (Rachel Gray) & found objects.

• Absolutely great. Dull day outside but still much in wonderful space. Very moving in terms of memories of lives lived & lovely varied representations. Will be recommending to friends.

• I think it’s amazing! It taught me a lot about the area and the history of the area and inspired me to do more research to follow-up and maybe even (make) some art of my own. THANK YOU!

• Moving. My favourite piece was by Caren Garfen. Bringing to life what made this building a living thing. Offsetting this was the culture of “retiring” women from the workplace. I will be recommending this exhibition. Thank you.

• Stunning. When I entered the room, it looked large and exhibits quite insignificant. When I looked at each one I was amazed at the detail in each work. The catalogue is excellent.

• Excellent. 1st class – thought provoking and astonishing and inspirational use of the space. Its good as Tate Modern/Tate Liverpool exhibitions.

• Incredible. A very important exhibition & refreshing to have something so significant here in Bradford  (present) surrounded by so much history (past)

• This is the most engaging interesting & technically superb exhibition I have ever attended. Not only that I love the ‘feel’ of those unnamed and voiceless women who lived in Saltaire and worked here. I am aware of the privilege we have of this retrospective & would want to carry away with me the reality of life as it was experienced in this building – amazing as it is.

• Beautiful & evocative on balmy September day in the sun. Would have loved to be here just by myself to think about the room and the women who worked here.

• A truly inspiring and reflective exhibition. The juxtaposition between old and new, concept and content has been magically and gracefully woven together, each respectful of each other.

• Excellent. Different artists/different interpretations which tells the story of the space and people. Caren’s work was absolutely fabulous. The tour was excellent & gave a context for the pieces/work. Well done!

• Blown away by quality of the work. The artists have responded so well to the site. Favourite pieces are 4 (Bartlett), 9 (Garfen), 22 (Thompson) but loved them all. Very well spaced works have room to breathe. Loved it! Well done – will be telling friends & family to come.

• Wonderful exhibition – very emotional for me reminding me of the lives of my grandparents great aunts and uncles who were all weavers working in the Lancashire cotton mills.

• Extraordinary space and atmosphere: reinforced by the concepts and responses of the works themselves. I was interested in each individual response to the area & the mill and the range of textile processes to express this. Also Lesley’s descriptions which re-inforced ideas behind the work. Thank you! Worth the journey!

• I saw Textural Space in about 2002 at the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich. Had to come and see Lesley Millar’s exhibition here. The exhibition has not disappointed me – well worth the journey. Salts Mill & Saltaire (never heard of these before) have enhanced the trip to see the exhibition.

• Incredible, nostalgic. Poignant, atmospheric, marvellous – what can I say – one of the best & most interesting exhibitions I have seen of late. Fabulous space. Well done to all!

• I’m short of words – I think it’s a wonderful exhibition (I was brought up next door to a cotton mill). Pieces are very well placed. Some have such an emotional impact – I’m sure that is because of the memories held in the air of the “room”. Thank you (and thanks to my friend for bringing me here)

• I found it a very exciting exhibition visually and emotionally. Some works are very striking immediately, others open up as you look and consider. So nice to have a TEXTILE exhibition in the Mill. Thank you.

• Enjoyed it immensely. Did not see Cloth & Culture I but twice visited Lost in Lace in B’ham, also curated by Lesley Millar. Such an amazing space to exhibit in, and some of the artists’ sensitivity to the space & history is so thought provoking. The size of some of the pieces is overwhelming, but needed to be in such a large space. Wonderful to see what is possible. More please!

• A beautiful, memorable exhibition. I was amazed to find the names Crabtree, Barrett & Taylor on Caren Garfen’s work, as all my forebears had these names & worked in the mills in Rossendale, Lancashire!

• I thought it would be good but has far exceeded my expectations.  The works have spoken to me in different ways and added yet more layers to my own personal responses to this stunning building/spaces. So glad I made the effort (& expense) of travelling to see it. THANK YOU

• Beautiful! I especially love the ledger books (2) – how wonderful to imagine the thoughts, sounds and chatter of the busy spinning room captures in the pages of these beautiful books in all their colourful spectrum of colours and designs. Loved it.

• Wonderful mix of artists & media, a really sensitive & interesting use of the space. I loved the inclusion of so many Japanese artists, and it’s fantastic to see this amazing building being used as such a great public space. I particularly liked Koji Takaki, Caroline Bartlett & Masae Bamba.

• Fabulous exhibition. I am pleased I managed to see it before it closed!

• I liked all the exhibition. It was well curated. It has stimulated my interest in memory/place/material culture

• Very brave, fantastic to give the work space to breath, and the artists permission to take risks

• Wonderful use of space – deep & resonant work interwoven with practical outcomes

• Beautiful aesthetic. The work is full of integrity. This is a very carefully curated show with an excellent selection of artists – Thank you
• I enjoyed the exhibits and the space, which seems full of history

• A beautiful, soothing space with thought provoking pieces. Wonderful!

• Beautiful!!! Use of space, context, the work made, still a lot to get round yet!

• Very interesting to see everyday materials used to produce beautiful displays. Thank you

• Great space. Lots of work. Really liked Hannah’s work + Katharina Hinsberg’s.

• Excellent. The best textile exhibition I’ve seen. Love, love, love rice, silk, mirrors + apron.

• Wonderful use of this space. Terrific exhibits

• Absolutely stunning, such unique interpretations of the same subject. Well presented and annotated – more “touchy feely” samples needed!

• Fantastic!! Thank you

• Absolutely fabulous! Well worth the visit

• This is the most wonderful exhibition I have been to in many years. The atmosphere and ambience of the room is highly conducive to the work.

• The artists have responded to the space in a wonderful mixture of media, scale, thought and emotion. The colour of the pieces also compliments the space.

• The scale of the room with the industrial ceiling/roof is just amazing. All in all a wonderful exhibition -

• Great exhibition, lovely space, lovely work. Would like to have touched some of the pieces. Make peopl buy catalogue rather than take pictures

• Loved the rice, iPad drawing + entrance cloth

• Stunning use of space. Intriguing work that inspires + stimulates. Exciting fusion of eastern + western approach to using cloth.

• Should tour – a shame not to be seen more widely.

• Very interesting. Very Peaceful. The rooms history is frightening.

• Excellent

• Fascinating. So many exhibits are beautiful but the space leads me to think about the life of the workers making fabric in the Mill years ago + workers around the world today. Caren Garfen’s work is amazing, so powerful

• Exquisite – best exhibition I have seen – uplifting especially rice & grain

• Cool (by 13 yr old.)

• Interesting concepts of art & textiles. Enjoyed visual works by Annie Harrison. Listening to the historical stories with descriptive sketches

• Great to see the space. Interesting exhibits; would have liked to see more local artists involved

• Enjoyed the exhibition very much – my granddaughter (13) felt it was the best bit! (including the Hockneys)

• I’ve already commented but forgot to mention we couldn’t find the space – no signage in downstairs entrance or even on each level

• Very interesting, the creativity of the artists is wonderful. Particularly impressive is the ‘Reel Lives’

• Really great & useful for my A level research. Plenty of information from the gallery guide. Thank you!

• An inspiring exhibition of artists work! Do the local secondary schools have any partnership with you? Fashion + design students?

• Inspiring & thought provoking. The skill & content of Caren Garfen’s exhibit was particularly moving. Well worth the climb to the 4th Floor!

• Lovely roof space which we travelled especially to see. The contents were thought provoking!

• A wonderful space which beautifully integrates the themes of the exhibition. Well done.

• Fantastic! Beautiful and very strangely soothing!

• I love it [written by a child]

• It was good [written by a child]

• Thought provoking – wonderful use of this room.

• Brilliant

• Excellent – Good presentation

• Love it. Brilliant use of the space – the building contents tend to lack enough textile related merchandise + exhibitions

• A delight – Fresh perspective

• Brilliant. So very skillful and evocative – and excellent informative staff!! Thank you

• Fascinating range of exhibits from various cultures. Loved the ‘Reel Lives’ exhibit

• A wonderful exhibition – space specific. Relevant to today – jobs/ livelihoods/ community – inspirational, creative + beautiful pieces. Thank you

• V. interesting! Plan to come again another day as well.

• Fascinating – I’ll be back!
• Outstanding

• I was absolutely thrilled. Far better than I expected. Wonderful. Well done to the artists & Salts Mill.

• Wonderful – very interesting

• Liked the presentation and also the video, memories of living near Listers Mill as a child.

• Thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition. The staff were very helpful and informative. Great to see the Spinning Room
especially as I come from a wool family. My fathersold mohair and alpaca. Imagine my delight when I saw the name Ellen Tennant on the Caren Garfen exhibit. She was my Great Aunt! and lived at 14 Albert Road with her family.

• Good presentation & Excellent video [Annie Harrison]

• Fabulous! Beautiful, thought provoking. A fitting testament to people and industry

• Excellent – really enjoyed the exhibition

• Really well set out beautiful work and works really well within the space, adds to the mood.

• Amazing. One of the few exhibitions with which I can empathise. I would love to be able to represent memory as well.

• Enjoyed it very much

• Just what Salts needed. Hope you do more in the future.

• Some wonderful installations

• Intriguing, variously beautiful and challenging. Some surprising textures and forms. Wonderful use of space.

• A stunning use of space. One of the best exhibitions at Salts in recent years.

• Inspiring

• A wonderful exhibition. I came mainly to see the Spinning Room & was quite moved to see the work relating to Salts workers

• No. 9 [Reel Lives, 1891] should have a permanent home in the Mill. A wonderful evocation of the lives of the past on which our own spoiled lives depend.

• Tremendous! Absolutely wonderful setting with some gorgeous, awe inspiring, beautiful exhibits!!

• Stunning. Clever use of roof area and indicative of use of Mill & textiles wool etc. Please use this area for exhibitions again! Fascinating!

• Lovely to see contemporary textile art in a non-gallery setting. The venue couldn’t be more appropriate. My only complaint is that there is no warning about the stairs to the exhibition space. I came with a pushchair and had I been alone I would have struggled. I found out from a member of staff once up the stairs that there is a service type lift we could have used. It would have been useful if this was signposted. Otherwise, great exhibition.

• Amazing exhibition – responses to the space give a whole new sense of architecture. Really liked handling samples, as pieces were so tactile.

• Fabulous space filled with inspiring exhibits

• Very thought provoking about materials. Also about the past & how the efforts of people produced beautiful materials

• The exhibition is beautiful but why not a project that the public can add to – my fingers are itching!

• Lovely to see the roof space – a work of art in itself. But the flaking paint – possible lead hazard, or arsenic in the green paint?

• Wonderful imagination linking art with the buildings original use and scale

• Wonderful space, filled with fascinating art

• Overwhelmingly moving and diverse in the different artists, concepts and techniques applied. I loved it!!! Wonderful. Thank you

• Interesting, particularly liked No 9 [Reel Lives, 1891]with the historical theme

• Very interesting. No 9 the best

• Fascinating – very interesting. Will visit again.

• I really loved the combination of art and history. AMAZING!

“Growing up around Bradford my ‘memory’ still holds the smells of a woollen mill, wool grease and engine oil, lovely! Also a big fan of Saltaire so can’t think of anything more exciting than this conjunction – such an amazing space with some of the brightest textile artists around! It’s going to be another of your significant markers for the future of Textiles – thank you Lesley Millar.” - Brenda Jennings, May 2013