Running until September 2019, The Queen of Industry exhibition is being held at Leeds Industrial Museum that’ll celebrate the working class women shot to fame and glamour between 1920’s – 80’s. To enhance this wonderful showcase, designer Lee Goater in partnership with maker Aimee Grundell, collaborated with Leeds Museums and Galleries to create the exhibition branding and marketing.
When the team went to the drawing board, they immediately saw the importance of drawing comparisons with current talents of today, where we are more often seeing ordinary folk quickly raise to celebrity status. After this consideration, the team agreed the concept theme ‘From Loom to Limelight’. Lee and Aimee set out to make something fresh and exciting that referenced the heritage but had a contemporary aesthetic and feel whilst simultaneously aiming to engage new audiences and make something special for the museum.
A significant quote that helped solidify the approach came from Marjorie Knowles in 1932, a machinist from Brieffield in east Lancashire, “I appeal to the so-called weaker sex to show we can be stronger than the men in more ways than one, by doing all that is possible to help cotton,” she said in a rallying cry. Statements like this show how the queens were far more than just pin-ups but needed to become PR representatives for their industries, helping to raise moral in harder times, speak publicly and meet with state leaders on a global stage.
The exhibition features historic photographs, objects collected and worn by the queens, letters from fans across the globe, interactive displays and film, all telling the story of how a handful of women from across the country lives were changed forever.
Designer Lee Goater said, “We love working with Leeds Industrial Museum”, once one of the largest working wood mills in the country, “the team is wonderful and it’s collections are always a great source of inspiration. I’m forever steering young designers away from the internet to the museum to get inspired”.