Hi di hi campers.. I’m having real problems to remember to blog..must be an age thing…I keep writing them and then not publishing..which is not great if your trying to keep up a blog…however I’ve been stressing about it too much… so as they say on Blue Peter..if they still do that is…here’s one I made earlier… .. I hope it will be of interest..as there’s some great info in it……I’m also creating a new website at uni which is very exciting …watch out for the changes!
I was recently asked by the Embroiderers Guild to be involved in a working group to promote stitch in schools and also promote the Campaign for Creativity. As a result I went along to the Knitting and Stitching Show in London’s Alexandra Palace to help ‘woman’ the Campaign’s Stand and raise awareness about its’ aims. People visiting the stand could come along and sew their names on to a textile petition and hear more about it.The Campaign for Creativity is an initiative organised and promoted by Twisted Thread and supported by the Embroiderers’ Guild. Its’ aims are to help provide more and better opportunities at school for children to be creative and to think creatively and believes that the rigid nature of the national curriculum does not provide enough opportunity or time for children to express themselves creatively and artistically. There are many good reasons to support this campaign, it involves a petition which needs 100,000 signatures in order to trigger a debate in Parliament which could potentially effect real change. There are around 5000 signatures on the petition to date – so there is a long way still to go!! Let’s help create the debate. If you haven’t signed up yet, then please do! You could embroider your name on to small pieces of calico and send it into the Campaign to be attached to the textile ‘stitch-tition’. This is the visual side of the petition – the one where your signature counts towards the 100,000 needed, is on line. Please go to… www.theknittingandstitchingshow.com/spring/the-campaign-for-creativity/ and sign up! The ‘stitch-tition’ that was started at the Knitting and Stitching Show 2017 will go on display at the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show 2018 at Olympia.
I also want to mention here Morsbags http://www.morsbags.com/. – I met Claire Morseman whilst I was at the great British Sewing Bee – now there’s something worth knowing about…I cant tell you how amazing I think this project is..again free or cheap to take part in and makes you feel good inside…. google them – an environmental cause well worth promoting! Lets ditch the plastic! Being a skint student I’m always up for things like this!!
Another thing I’m loving is the Alice Kettle project Thread Bearing Witness to raise the plight of displaced people. Get involved! You’ve got ’til April to stitch a tree.. its easy, enjoyable, for a good cause and will be great to be involved in a national art project which will be displayed in at least two large galleries,the Whitworth in Manchester and Winchester Discovery Centre.
Meanwhile I am continuing my studies and continuing to experience as always a lot of seredipity. There was fabulous programme on Mexican art on the BBC in December (The Art That Made Mexico) which showed the wonderful Las Posas Gardens which I used as inspirationfor my piece of work in West Dean last summer…it was followed by a complimentary programme -Hand Made in Mexico- on the intricate embroidery used to decorate the colourful huipitls worn, made and embroidered by Mexican women. I was really interested in how the women transferred their designs. Very similar to the prick and pounce method of design transfer used in English embroidery – and also of interest as I am currently teaching some workshops using the Japanese technique of Sashiko whose modern day interpretations use a variety of methods to transfer designs across to materials. Talking of serendipity I was lucky enough to be given a ticket (thank you mad canadian!) for a very special theatre production at the Minerva Theatre in Chichester last month which was about the life and times of surrealist artist Roland Penrose and his wife and partner – war photographer Lee Miller – a truly remarkable woman. The connection is that West Dean holds the archive of some of photographs used in the performance and Edward James was a close friend to Lee Miller and Roland Penrose. The performance, a one off, was very personal – as it was written and presented by Roland and Lee’s son, Antony. It was really rather wonderful and I felt uplifted and inspired afterwards. I am still pursuing themes of feminism and identity in my own work…watch out for a bit of surrealism thrown in for good measure from now on.