May has been an exciting month as I’ve been out and about doing some interesting things!
As well as my residency at Drink, Shop & Do – next session 7th June! – I’ve taken part in a couple of great textile events:
Yan Tan Tethera
David Littler explores the edges of the textile Universe to see what happens when you connect themes and develop new contexts. One of the first events I ever went to was Sampler: Culture Clash which explored the connections between embroidery samplers and music samplers. David’s work took this concept to some really interesting places, involving spoken word poetry, music performances and, of course, a healthy dose of stitching.
David’s latest project is called Yan Tan Tethera, exploring songs and traditions inspired by the textile industry, run in association with the English Folk Dance and Song Society. As part of the project, I’m helping facilitate the creation of six embroidered chairs throughout London, and we had our first session on Wednesday 14th at the Camden Collective pop-up shop, as part of the Camden Create Festival.
David had chosen a chair and, armed with needles, thread, wit and charm, and the assistance of David and the most excellent Stewart Easton, we set about stitching song lyrics that were inspired by textiles. We had a fair bit of interest and some additions from passers-by. This was my contribution:
Yan Tan Tethera continues until September and we’ll be stitching on chairs across London over the next few months – keep up with the news on the textilefolksong website!
Pinnies From Heaven
Several months ago I was invited to participate in an exhibition called Pinnies from Heaven, curated by the MaP group in association with the Makers Guild in Wales. This was a real honour for me, particularly when I realised I’d be exhibiting alongside a personal hero of mine, Tilleke Schwarz.
I struggled with the idea of a Pinny from Heaven, as gender stereotypes floated before my eyes, so in the end I decided to make a Pinny from Hell. With the help of Claire Owens, the pinny was created with a gruesome cross stitch design and added to the collection.
On Sunday 18th May, I travelled to Cardiff for the opening of the exhibition. After regaling an audience with my Life on the Cutting (& Stitching) Edge presentation – I’m available for hire – I spent time with the other makers from the MaP group, a hugely talented and experienced group of embroiderers whose work made up the bulk of the exhibition. They were lovely people and they made lovely work – my personal favourite was this resplendent piece by Elspeth Thomas.
The exhibition is a great showcase of work and I’d recommend you visit it if you can. It’s on until 6th July at Craft in the Bay, Cardiff.