About the image:
I think of Colditz when look at the mill in this painting. It’s the combination of old walls with the barbed wire along the top. One can almost see the mill’s tower, fitted with a search light panning the ground, watching for escapees. All the while, armed lookouts patrol the rooftop, ready to take aim as required.
Barbed wire itself has always held a peculiar fascination. It looks so delicate, pretty even, and yet there’s no doubt it works, inflicting painful damage to the unwary or determined intruder. Its very presence hints at forbidden places, secrets, and danger. You can imagine it being cut back and never really foiling any burglars. A beacon, daring the adventurous or unscrupulous mind to take a chance. Or am I thinking of too many novels and movies?
Barbed wire is a ubiquitous product that many a climbing plant will utilise to great effect, if permitted. Not so here, though, the barbed wire topping on this ancient wall is well maintained. Then there’s all that masonry! Swan Mill features lots of crumbling brick, as well as the barbed wire. An industrial building in rich, earthy colours with hints of its sooty past. The Mill is still in use and can be found in North Manchester, at the Chadderton border with Middleton Junction. Situated on the Rochdale Canal, Swan Mill towers over the landscape, a relic of past glory.
Like many remaining cotton mills, it’s lost its chimney. These large brickwork structures were prone to weather damage and became unstable over time. They were also expensive to repair and required frequent maintenance. As the engines they vented were replaced, the obsolete chimneys were removed. In many cases, the whole mill was demolished as well.
This one has stood the test of time.
A limited edition A4 Digital print of an original painting by Cathy Read. The print is signed and numbered, with a white mount and include a certificate of authenticity. Edition size 150
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