‘Shoddy’ exhibition looks at town’s past

An exhibition, named Shoddy and based on the theme of recycling and re-using materials, is heading to Batley.
An exhibition, named Shoddy and based on the theme of recycling and re-using materials, is heading to Batley.

An exhibition based on the theme of recycling and re-using materials is heading to Batley.

The ‘pop-up’ exhibition is entitled ‘Shoddy’ – after the name for new cloth made from woollen waste and recycled fabric.

The process for making shoddy was invented in the town by Benjamin Law around 1813 and Batley became the shoddy capital of the world.

The exhibition will see works on display by disabled artists in Batley Art Gallery and Library from Saturday May 28.

The artists will be using textiles in their work and have responded to the project’s themes of recycling and re-using.

The opening date co-incides with the third Batley Vintage Day in the town centre and some of the artworks will remain on show until Saturday June 11.

Batley library. (D512C430)

Batley library. (D512C430)

The exhibition was first shown, to great acclaim, in Leeds in April.

A spokeswoman said: “We are thrilled to now be able to show it in the town of shoddy’s birth.

“The exhibition challenges ideas that disabled people are second-rate.

“Instead, we think that ‘shoddy’ could be used to describe the government’s treatment of disabled people, with cuts to welfare benefits and public services.”

Seventeen individual artists or groups of artists from across the country are taking part in the exhibition.

The artists have responded to the inter-connected themes of shoddy: shoddy itself – the material and manufacture, recycling and re-using, disabled people’s lives past and present.

The artwork includes large scale installations, wall-hangings, photographic images, embroidery and sculpture which combine to make a contemporary exhibition.