Blackburn Town Hall hosts jaw-dropping Biennial artwork

Published Wednesday 22 September 2021 at 12:39

Blackburn’s Old Town Hall is hosting an impressive photographic banner on its façade in preparation for the British Textile Biennial 2021, which kicks off on the 1st October.

Local artist Azraa Motala has created a series of portraits exploring themes of identity, belonging, culture and heritage. The new series, titled Unapologetic, provides a platform for the overlooked community of young British South Asian women from Lancashire – too often invisible and unheard – to express how they want to be represented.

A photographic self-portrait of Motala can be seen on the front of Blackburn’s Old Town Hall, and at a dramatic 23ft tall, it’s hard to miss!


(L-R) Jenny Rutter; Director of Super Slow Way, Denise Park; Chief Executive of Blackburn with Darwen Council, Cllr Mohammed Khan; Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council and Laurie Peake; Director of Super Slow Way.

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council Leader, Cllr Mohammed Khan, said:

It’s always an exciting time when the British Textile Biennial comes to Blackburn with Darwen – you can feel the buzz it generates across our borough.

This amazing portrait has only been up for a couple of days and is already causing a stir in Blackburn town centre.

Being able to display and be involved with quality creative arts and cultural activity is really valuable for Blackburn with Darwen, and the Council are strong supporters of the British Textile Biennial for this reason.

Not only is this a chance for our residents to experience what’s on offer, it’s also a great opportunity to generate tourism and boost economic activity. 

I can’t wait for the programme to begin and encourage as many people as possible to get involved and enjoy!

British Textile Biennial throws a spotlight on the nation’s creativity, innovation and expression in textiles against the backdrop of the impressive infrastructure of the cotton industry in Pennine Lancashire.

With its epic mills and striking civic architecture along the country’s longest waterway, the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, the landscape tells the story of textiles. This biennial festival celebrates that story in numerous venues across East Lancashire over the month of October.

British Textile Biennial is produced by Super Slow Way. For the full programme of events and more information, head over to

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