This pop-up exhibition is the result of my participation in the Prairie Ronde Artist Residency series here in Vicksburg, MI. The programme was established as part of the Papermill renovation project. The drawings were carried out both onsite at the mill, and in the Hills Pharmacy as the idea for the show was developed.
It was fascinating to finally visit a papermill building, I had already seen many in the area. In Parchment, Kalamazoo there is a huge abandoned factory that I was very curious about when I first saw it, but was warned it was difficult to get into and dangerous. Having been such an important industry in the region I was sure there must be an opportunity somewhere. So, on reading about this residency programme I could hardly contain my enthusiasm, and it was very rewarding to be admitted.
My initial reaction on visiting the mill was admiration for the early industrial architecture, as in the specialised designs for the work spaces required at the beginning of the last century, with so many windows to make the most of natural light. The beautiful wooden beam structure of the top floor of the East wing, which allows overhead light in through the roof with north facing windows, would make the perfect studio for any artist. And it goes to show the attention to detail for producing a high quality product, since it was here that the cotton rags were first sorted before washing and beating into pulp. Continue reading “Papermill DNA”