Helmshore Mills Textile Museum - No Match by Claire Morgan


Project Information


From 13 February 2012

Until 4 November 2012


Installation: No Match


Artist: Claire Morgan


Venue: Helmshore Mills Textile Museum, Rossendale


Twitter #CHNoMatch


Watch the documentary film of No Match here

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Helmshore Mills Textile Museum

To find out further information about the area surrounding Helmshore Mills Textile Museum and what else is on offer visit Rossendale

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Additional Information

Claire Morgan's latest exhibition







Helmshore Mills Textile Museum - No Match by Claire Morgan

No Match installatiion at Helmshore Mills Textile Musuem, Rossendale © Lee Pilkington


No Match was part of Contemporary Heritage, an ambitious partnership programme of contemporary art commissions, inspired by Lancashire’s heritage taking place at historic sites across Lancashire.

No Match, created by international sculptor Claire Morgan, was a site specific installation inspired by Helmshore Mills and Claire’s discoveries during her research residency there in October 2011. Claire spent time meeting ex-mill workers, reading accounts of their experiences and listening to recordings and found the mill workers held fond memories of the mill despite the daily hazards they had faced.

The installation was suspended in the Devil Hole, where danger arose from mans’ attempt to harness natures power, through intense heat, noise, pressure, smoke, fire and frequently blood. Claire is fascinated by our relationship with nature, the passing of time and the transience of everything around us. There is a sense of fragility that carries through all her sculptures. “I feel as if they are somewhere between movement and stillness, and thus in possession of a certain energy.”

No Match acknowledges the connection between man and machine, mill and environment, and the fragility of man, woman and child as they struggled to control nature.

"My idea for No Match came from my fascination with all the complex, repetitive, and really quite aggressive processes that occurred in the Devil Hole. I wanted to make something that traced the passage of nature through that dark, industrial space, and for me that could mean anything from the cotton, to workers, to fire, or even blood. The finished installation will hopefully acknowledge these things in an abstract but engaging way.” Claire Morgan

Watch the documentary film of No Match here.

Meet Claire Morgan

Belfast born Claire Morgan currently lives and works in London. She graduated in 2003 with a first class degree in sculpture and has exhibited internationally, with solo exhibitions in the UK and Europe, and museum shows in the US and Australia.

Claire has won number of small awards including the Royal British Society of Sculptors Annual Bursary Award, the Roy Noakes Award in 2004 and first prize in the International Competition for Young Sculptors, Milan (2006) for her sculpture, Red or Dead made of thousands of cherries.

The Fall, exhibited in 2008 was Claire’s first solo outing in London. This was well received along with other solo exhibitions outside the capital including Periphery (UCA Farnham) and Gone With The Wind (The Laing Gallery, Newcastle) which featured ambitious new works on a large scale. Claire unveiled her first solo exhibition in France in 2010. Life. Blood, at Galerie Karsten Greve, Paris.

Claire’s most recent exhibitions include Under The Sun, a solo exhibition at Galerie Karsten Greve, Cologne, Monanism, the inaugural exhibition at the Museum of Old and New Art in Tasmania, and Bestes, Bestiaux, et Bestioles, where a new large-scale sculpture was commissioned by Château D'Oiron, France.

You can read Claire's artist statement here.

For further information on Claire Morgan and her work visit her website. You can also follow her on facebook

No Match was commissioned by Mid Pennine Arts in collaboration with Lancashire County Council. Contemporary Heritage is an ambitious contemporary art programme created for historic sites across Lancashire. The installations animate each site and offer visitors a rare chance to experience major works of art by artists of national and international standing outside a city environment.

Mid Pennine Arts would like to thank the following organisations for their support and funding:


Quotes from the visitors' book:

Deepened my appreciation of the historical heritage portrayed at Helmshore.

Stunning. A great idea, very beautifully made. Also an exciting use of the space above the machines.

It’s a really fantastic artwork in a setting with incredible resonance.

I found it all rather interesting. I would like to return again at some time.

Captured an atmosphere which was in contrast to, and in sympathy with, the mill.

This was a pleasant surprise – a great installation in a great museum.

This piece stunned me. I think the piece really reflects the working conditions of the mill and subconsciously makes you reflect this. Well done Claire Morgan

As an engineer I am so pleased to have “got it”! Well done Claire, machinery and fire have a resonance to anyone who has worked in’t mill.

A great first visit to the museum! Great to see quality art on the doorstep.

Arrived without a clear idea of what to expect but was initially impressed by the work and the patience of the creator. As we studied the work, the meaning and subtly of the artistic present took over and we found the meaning quite moving.

Interesting contrast and response to the rugged, sturdy, heavy, machinery. A delightful contemporary piece.

Nice but baffling.

I found the video very helpful in explaining the artwork and putting it in context, much appreciated and it highlighted many aspects of working here and the industry itself which I was not aware of.

I think it tells an unspoken story, giving whichever audience an opportunity to see old times and new.

Excellent for children to see how life has developed, not just here but around the world.

It is a very inspiring piece. A lot of thought has gone into the concept of making it, and it really shows through the work.