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Colours, Community and Chemistry

Colours, Community and Chemistry

A fascinating collaboration between regional artists and scientists

8 October 2014 — 18 January 2015

Time 10:00 - 17:00

Duration 7 hours

Cost In order to keep our exhibitions programme affordable to everyone, please make a donation

8 October 2014 - 18 January 2015, Colours, Community and Chemistry exhibition @ People's History Museum, from Pakistan to PrestonPom poms - Colours, Community and Chemistry exhibition @ People's History MuseumIt’s Lancashire, 1939, the beginning of World War II.  A factory is built to produce artificial silk, sometimes called viscose or rayon.

A T Boyle’s family worked in the north’s factories for years, creating filaments for women’s tights, webbing for wounds and the insides of tyres, and vibrantly pigmented threads used in fashion.

Four years of research resulted in the novel from Pakistan to Preston, a fictional love story about teenagers Tommy O’Reilly and Sunehri Saleem set against the backdrop of real scientific processes in the making of artificial silk from wood.    

From the research and stories grew this exhibition Colours, Community and Chemistry.

Terry Boyle measuring temperature of alk-cell, Courtaulds Lancashire viscose factory, photo by works photographer © Gordon HillSelf portrait of Dick Nuttall works photographer © Dick NuttallDr Frank MairJenna Carine AshtonDr Katayune-Presland




Eleanor Maclure





Curated by A T Boyle, Colours, Community and Chemistry is a contemporary collaboration between regional artists and scientists featuring rare films, photos, words, research and textiles.  This fascinating exhibition and accompanying events illuminate the north’s manufacturing foundations, at the same time as heralding its strong future.

Join the fun and activities on the final afternoon of the exhibition:

Manchester Science Festival 2014

Family Friendly exhibition, suitable for all ages

The Community Gallery space is where local groups can display their own work. We try to make these displays relevant to the story told in the museum where possible.  Find out more if you are interested in exhibiting.