Wednesday, 3 July 2013


My piece 'heartbroken' is in the window of Brown Thomas, Dublin for the next month

Monday, 1 July 2013

Made in Market Harborough

‘Made in Market Harborough’.

This 'tape measure' is 13 cm wide and 45 meters long (that's there and back in the swimming pool in the morning!). It is inspired by many things, but perhaps by 'songs in red and grey' most of all.

As a child I grew up in a house with a sewing machine in the living room. A great big  brute of an industrial sewing machine. My father was a factory manager and brought boxes of outwork home every evening, which my mother then sewed together the following morning. The Symingtons lingerie factory in Peterborough was an almost mythical place where countless items were manufactured, visits there exposed me to the magnificence of plenty, of multiples and the patterns that piles of anything can create. We really didn’t have much money, not that we ever went without food or love, and the importance of working hard and respecting your family were the values that I was brought up to believe were important. Stories involving both branches of the extended family were fascinating, accompanied as they were by countless photographs of strange and familiar faces.

My childhood memories are built around this archive of images and are filled with the tactile appreciation for cloth and materials. In particular the rolls of bias binding and the coiled steel boning that were part of mother’s work provided endless hours of fun to play with. I always remember there being tape measures in the house, all types and colours, even one glued along the sewing machine stand, but those with press studs to keep them in a tight spiral were the best.

On reflection I consider that my cultural identity was forged somewhere between twin notions of ‘sacrifice’ and ‘industry’. The number 45 has many personal significances for me, from the speed of a vinyl single on our record player to the fact that at this point in my life I can finally act my age and my shoe size simultaneously.                                                                                        

 all photogrpahs by Sylvain Deleu