Felicity Ford works with wool and sounds. Listening to Shetland Wool is an interactive online sound map of the Shetland wool industry, experienced via Ford’s hand-knitted woollen ‘speaker pillow’. Lambs and sheep call out, birds sing and caw, and weavers, ‘linkers’, wool-sorters and other wool workers talk about their work, alongside sounds of industry, and many different varieties of Shetland wind. The piece calls for a deeper consideration of the labour, communities and environments that produce our everyday materials. Ford argues for knitting to be recognised as a technical skill, as much as the often more highly regarded skill of coding. In her critically-acclaimed crowd-sourced book, KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook (also on display), Ford demonstrates - through developing knitting motifs based on Victorian brickwork, A-roads and local weeds - how patterns can carry and transform information – be it via wool or a digital machine. Implicit in her works is an argument for work traditionally associated with the ‘feminine’ to be afforded equal status to activities commonly perceived as more ‘male’.

The artists

David Griffiths and Julian Rohrhuber

Ellen Harlizius-Kluck

Dan Hett

Amy Twigger Holroyd

David Littler

Alex McLean

Sam Meech

Antonio Roberts