|1||Instruments of Industry||14:15|
Folklore is most often associated with the romance of rural life, but this new series of releases explores ‘industrial folklore’, born from the hardship and daily toil of workers in mills, mines and foundries in the north of England. The Industrial Folklore series sets out to explore a recent past, embedded in family histories and still in living memory, yet for the most part a forgotten bygone era, that appears to have little connection to our present existence. It is no coincidence that the artists who begin this series are all based in and around Lancashire, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, a landscape silently haunted by the tangible remains of once thriving noisy industries. Instruments of Industry is a translation of a residency and exhibition by Hannah Leighton-Boyce from 2016. The project approaches the tool as an extension of ourselves; our contact, relationship to and being in the world. It draws on the connection between Touchstones Museum’s collection of trade tools and their resting place, Thomas Robinson and Son’s, a former engineering works which now houses the archive. These prehensile tools have been elevated to museum objects and represent our pre-industrial relationship to work. Disembodied from the hands and minds that worked them, they are no longer ‘present at hand’ and remain at a distance, carefully preserved as an object of esthetic and historic value. The tools on the shelves hold a latent memory of an action, the resonating sounds created in the moulding, measuring, bending and shaping of process and a material. Using sounds captured from ‘ringing’ the tools, the work was composed as a series of movements and explores resonance as a way of touching and conversing. From the working hand to the disembodied, from the real to the imagined, to the coming present. This first release through Industrial Folklore Tapes features the original exhibition recording of a fifteen minute composition using ‘ringing’ tools’ on side A and a side B features each tool spoken and then played in turn.