A community-based project working with National Trust property Bourne Mill in Colchester and Essex Cultural Diversity Project. This collaboration with artist Nicola Burrell is aimed at engaging local communities with the NT property on their doorstep, through a programme of workshops and activities, all of which will feed into a new artwork for the mill, which will also tour those communities involved.
The aim is to raise the profile of the mill, engage with the many diverse communities in Colchester, encourage a different demographic of visitors to this and other National Trust properties, and create a new body of work inspired by the history of the mill and the ecology of the mill pond and wider Bourne Valley.
Bourne Mill was built as a fishing lodge in 1591, converted to a fulling mill around 1640 and then converted to a corn mill in about 1840, which continued working until the 1930s. It was acquired by the National Trust in 1936.
The artists are referencing it's usage as a fulling mill by running a series of felt-making workshops, inspired largely by the local ecology of the mill pond and the valley, a public park maintained by Colchester Borough Council, which follows the mill stream down to the Colne river. The feltworks made by the public and the artists will be stitched together to create a map of the valley in the form of a tapestry or wall hanging.
While public workshops are now suspended due to the pandemic, we are continuing to keep the project alive, and the local community entertained, through a series of activities on our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/bournenarratives/