Millscapes is an exploration of Bailey Mill and Wellington Mill, two Saddleworth landmarks that have now vanished from the landscape. The exhibition is a mix of historic images from the Saddleworth Museum archives and those taken by photographer Andrew Marland in 2007 as the now derelict mills awaited their eventual destruction in the years to come.
After many years of service, the mills lay derelict for several years before succumbing to demolition (Wellington Mill) and arson (Bailey Mill). Like many abandoned buildings, the mills were preyed upon by vandals and metal thieves, and during this period, Marland photographed the mills. Although largely empty, glimpses of their past lives and the remnants of their workforce could be found - in amongst the broken glass were old looms, discarded newspapers, postcards from long forgotten holidays and of course the wool and fabric produced by the mills.
Andrew Marland has been photographing the changing industrial landscape of the north for over fifteen years. His body of work covers the textile mills of Lancashire and Yorkshire, the welsh slate quarries, vast steelworks, foundries and railways works, and all manner of other remnants of our industrial past. Since 2007, Andrew’s website www.theviewfromthenorth.org has been home to this body of work and it has featured in print in books and magazines including Amateur Photographer, Lancashire Life, Manchester Evening News, and Urban Realm as well as being featured online by the BBC, The Independent, Manchester Evening News. This is his fourth exhibition, having most recently exhibited at Helmshore Textile Mills and Queen Street Mill in Burnley.
Marland writes: "Photographing empty spaces is a creative challenge, a search for the photographs that capture the essence of what I see and feel. While I've never worked in a textile mill, I’ve spent my working life in and around other manufacturing industries, and these eerie empty spaces, once full of people, noise, and activity are a sad contrast to the world I inhabit. I’ve steered my career through the industrial landscape staying one step ahead of redundancy, and in my photography, one step ahead of the demolition man. I hope to capture these feelings in my photography."