creative producer

In 1994 an extraordinary archive of Edwardian films were discovered in the basement of a shop on Northgate in Blackburn. These internationally important films are an essential archive in understanding the evolution of British Cinema. In 2019, artist Jamie Holman encountered a short clip titled ‘Kidnapping by Indians’ and the date on the film indicated that this was the world's first Western. This short, naive film which features Mill Workers in Blackburn in 1899, is the starting point of what would become a key genre of Hollywood cinema.

Jamie has previously made artworks that explore the complex history of the mill workers and weavers of the industrial revolution in Blackburn and how these narratives contributed to the creation of this film. We have now extended this work and will be installing a permanent memorial to the world’s first Western, made in collaboration with the people of  Blackburn. 40 different community groups and individual volunteers from Blackburn have each cast a pewter arrow with artist Jamie Holman and specialist artist Ella Mackintosh.  Each participant viewed the archival film and discussed the context of the film before casting their arrow and casting a small arrow artwork in exchange for their participation.