Title: Silk and Rubble
workshop & collaborative artwork

‘Silk and Rubble’ is an exploration of the layers of Battersea’s rivershore. 

At low tide, beneath the floors of exclusive apartments, the story of a lost landscape unfolds.

Mapping out Battersea’s industrial heritage and its lost crafts, Kinga Oktabska worked in collaboration with dress historian and practitioner Pawel Tomaszewski to take a critical look at the changing face of Battersea’s riverfront. Drawing inspiration from the Silk Factory, which occupied a riverfront site at York Place in the 19th century, they organised a drawing and weaving workshop for the local community, with support from cultural charity Hypha Studios. The guests were invited to learn different techniques of weaving with silk, and use found objects from the riverbank to draw.

The drawings created were intertwined into a collaorative artwork.

The research for this project was supported by Peter Walker, a local historian who searched through the historical records and helped to piece them together. Peter Walker explores alternative and radical histories. He runs walks on the suffragettes, William Morris and the role slave owners played in Wimbledon’s history. 

Pawel Tomaszewski works in the field of clothing history and interpretation. He investigates real examples of historical garments and makes their re-constructions (or, indeed, interpretations) as a form of research, exploring the theoretical and practical aspects of their cut, construction, content and context. Through this, he likes to believe, he explores the secrets that textile objects can reveal and conversations they can provoke.

© Kinga Oktabska 2023