Textiles Factory Residency

The Loom Runs. The Smoke Rises is a series of paintings that invite you to take a look inside Halley Stevensons, one of the last surviving textiles factories in Dundee, a city with a rich textiles heritage.

Each painted in oil on waxed cotton, these works feature scenes from inside the factory, sharing with you the people and processes Nicola encountered during her six-month residency at Halley Stevensons. The residency involved painting from a studio in the middle of a bustling factory floor, which allowed the atmosphere of the factory to work its way into the paintings.

If you have ever been to Dundee, it is impossible to ignore the magnificent Baltic Works chimney, which punctures the city’s industrial horizon. Few people, however, realise that the chimney marks the humble beginnings of Barbour’s iconic waxed jacket.

Based at Baltic Works since 1864, Halley Stevensons are the leading manufacturers and innovators in waxed cotton and weatherproofed fabrics. Their clients include Barbour and Ralph Lauren, but also new designers such as Kerrie Aldo and Nicholas Daley.

Pattern Chimney, 2017

Painted in oil on waxed cotton

60 x 80cm. Available.

Sunday Factory, 2017

Painted in oil on waxed cotton

20 x 25cm. Sold.

Pattern Forklift, 2017

Painted in oil on waxed cotton

60 x 80cm. Available.

153 Year At Baltic Works, 2017. Painted in oil on waxed cotton. 30 x 100cm. Available.

“The Baltic Works chimney was the first thing I wanted to paint when I moved to Dundee, so I’m very excited that I’ve been painting from a studio inside the factory. Dundee has a rich textiles heritage, but I wanted to highlight what is being produced in the city today. It’s been such a unique experience. The bustling atmosphere of the factory floor has really worked its way into the paintings. My favourite aspect of the project has definitely been the studio visits from the guys that work in the factory. Their brutal honesty has played a major role in developing the paintings!"

Friday Is A Waiting Game, 2017

Painted in oil on waxed cotton

70 x 90cm. Available.

Sunset Parade, 2017

Painted in oil on waxed cotton

70 x 90cm. Sold.

Dye Hands, 2017

Painted in oil on waxed cotton

60 x 80cm. Available

Red Gloves, 2017

Painted in oil on waxed cotton

20 x 25cm. Sold

Perseverance, 2017

Painted in oil on waxed cotton

60 x 80cm. Available

Sticky Feet, 2017

Painted in oil on waxed cotton

25 x 20cm. Available.

Adagio, 2018

Painted in oil on waxed cotton

46x36cm. Available.

The full collection of paintings was initially displayed as part of a large solo exhibition, The Loom Runs. The Smoke Rises, which was open for three months in 2017 at Verdant Works, a museum celebrating the jute history of Dundee.

The paintings were then exhibited at a pop-up gallery in Dundee's Overgate shopping centre in 2017, before travelling to The Meffan Gallery in Angus, Scotland for a major solo show in 2018. The extended exhibition included paintings borrowed from the Dundee Heritage Trust art collection, alongside wall hangings and fabric collages.

The paintings were also included in the Halley Stevensons exhibition for Dundee Fashion Week 2018.

Griege Cloth Mountain, 2017. Painted in oil on waxed cotton. 50 x 100cm. Sold.

Yellow Lines, 2017

Painted in oil on waxed cotton

20 x 25cm. Available.

200 Metre Shine, 2017

Painted in oil on waxed cotton

20 x 25cm. Available.

The Manager's Window, 2017

Painted in oil on waxed cotton

60 x 80cm. Available.

Offcuts, 2017

Painted in oil on waxed cotton

60 x 80cm. Sold.

Journeyman/Absolute, 2017

Painted in oil on waxed cotton

60 x 80cm. Available.

Dye Hands propped up outside the factory studio.

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