Unfolding Origins

My latest community project came to an end last month. It’s been great to get back to face to face workshops, working on Unfolding Origins with textile artist Lynn Setterington and Chrysalis Arts. I was asked to run a series of textile workshops with two Selby primary schools. Working from Lynn’s research we created banners that celebrate the 30th anniversary of Selby Toll Bridge becoming toll free.

Unfolding Origins aims to support the creation of new artworks inspired by North Yorkshire’s archival collections and to develop exciting new ways for the public to engage with this resource. The project is a collaboration between North Yorkshire County Record Office (NYCRO), Chrysalis Arts Development (CAD) and other partners including Selby District Council, Richmondshire District Council and ArtUK.

There are three artists is residence; Carolyn Thompson in Ryedale, Lynn Setterington in Selby and Nick Jordon and Jacob Cartwright are collaborating in Richmondshire. The artists began their research in October 2019 but unfortunately COVID-19 has led to a delay to our engagement programme and the exhibitions being postponed.


I grew up not far from Selby so I remember the local newspaper stories about the bridge and travelling via Selby to the coast in our Ford Granada for day trips. Lynn had collected research from the North Yorkshire County Record Office which we used to inspire our work.

Year six children from Barlby Bridge and Barwic Parade designed and created the banners, using felt, fabric pens and printed fabrics. We started from designs that the children created, bringing together elements from everyone’s work into the final pieces. Their skill and enthusiasm was so inspiring, and each school created something different.

The Barlby Bridge banner has lots of people, representing their walk to school across the bridge. They also created Selby landmarks like the Abbey, Market Cross and Town Hall. The children had a dedicated bridge team who planned and created the bridge at the bottom of the banner.

The Barwic Parade banner celebrates the nature along the River Ouse, with trees and flowers. They even added me to the banner walking along the river bank. I love the Selby sign and three swans, the Selby crest.

We’re hoping to bring the schools together in 2022 to see the work and celebrate.

Images courtesy of https://nycroblog.com/2020/09/10/selby-toll-bridge/, Chrysalis Arts and Jo Mills

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