Maskerade garment enters Kirklees Museums and Galleries collection

A woman in a dress made from face masks and bare feet in front of a building with a tower

The Space Shed landed in Greenhead Park on 19 June 2021 to celebrate science and innovation in textiles as part of the WOVEN 2021 programme. The Space Shed is brought to life by Unlimited Theatre and is the Unlimited Space Agency‘s spectacular mobile HQ recently winning ‘Unique’ Shed of the Year. This outdoor event combined interactive theatre with lively interviews and for WOVEN 2021 we explored how different approaches to the growing, manufacturing and reusing of textiles can help us to reduce our impact on the environment with guest speakers including Dr Andrew Hewitt, Ashleigh Naysmith, Charles Ross, Mark Taylor, Paraskevi Fotoglou and Julia Roebuck sharing their expert knowledge.

With mask restrictions remaining for indoor and retail environments for the COVID19 pandemic at the time, facemasks had firmly become part of daily life, and daily waste. To raise awareness of the waste and litter that had been generated from disposable face masks throughout the pandemic, Julia Roebuck, founder of circular clothing practice Upcycle Fashion, created a unique sculptural garment to wear at the event. The garment, titled “Maskerade” (so titled by an attendee at the Space Shed event) was made from over 100 disposable facemasks.

Four months after the Space Shed event, in November 2021, Julia met with Katina Bill, Senior Curator for Kirklees Museums and Galleries at the Tolson Museum to sign the relevant paperwork required to donate Maskerade to the collection. This was the first time Julia had donated any work into a Museum and Gallery collection:

“My work is all about encouraging citizens to value the longevity of textiles and clothing. Donating Maskerade to a collection that guarantees it will be kept and looked after for a very long time is a great feeling. For the first time I really felt that a piece of my work would outlive me! I like to think that it might appear in an exhibition about the COVID19 pandemic in the future”

You can now watch the Space Shed Conversation with Dr Andrew Hewitt and Ashleigh Naysmith.

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