the ribbon shift

Tradesman’s Entrance, Earlsdon Festival
4th May 2015


The Ribbon Shift was a durational performance designed in response to the historic ribbon making activity in Earlsdon, Coventry, acknowledging the skilled workers that contributed to this short-lived industry. For a 6-hour period, the artist duo Hickey+Warner utilised a mobile work-base and travelled to places of historical significance in Earlsdon’s ribbon weaving past. Performing as labourers, they led the cart in a procession that weaved around the streets and evolved in response to the physicality of the environment and public encounters.

Bringing the art-making process into the public realm, I made a length of ribbon on a handmade loom; a physical commentary on the level of skill and unseen labour invested by a workforce. Emily Warner transported a reel of ribbon; trailing and suspending the moving length in response to the texture and fabric of the locality. Our temporary activations considered the social conditions and global trends that inform the behaviour of industry, and the subsequent effect this has on local trade.