Yet again, time has slipped away from me. It’s been almost a month since I last posted anything here, and I could have sworn it was only a couple of weeks! Since my last post I’ve had a birthday, found a small rigid heddle loom for £10 in a charity shop, started on the Future Creatives Enterprise Programme, and had an idea.
I don’t know about you, but when I say the words “I’ve had an idea” to my other half I can hear his anxiety levels rise. This time he liked the idea, and so I’m working on taking it from idea to reality, and I’m going to share it with you. It was inspired by something that was mentioned during the initial information session about the Future Creatives workshops. In August 2016 the Tall Ships Race is visiting Blyth, a small town in South East Northumberland. This is a real coup for the town, and the county. One of the other programme participants wants to do a yarn bombing project in Blyth to coincide with the Tall Ships visit, and this set the cogs in my brain turning. The Future Creatives Programme is about giving emerging textile artists commercial skills, with help towards developing creative practice. One of the aims of the project is to give participants the skills to take art into communities, particularly communities which wouldn’t normally engage with the arts. So, I came up with the idea of working with community groups in Blyth to produce an exhibition coinciding with the Tall Ships Race, by making sails. These sails will be stitched together from fabric which has has words and images, created by members of the community, printed onto it.
In in order to get this idea off the ground I’m working with Jean Bell who manages the Briardale Community Centre in Cowpen, Blyth. Lots of different groups of all ages use Briardale, including a pre-school, Girl Guides, woodworkers, and a craft group. I want to collect the memories of older residents into stories, get small children to paint brightly coloured pictures, teach the Guides some embroidery, get the woodworkers to build masts, and generally get everyone involved in an aspect of the project that interests them.
We are holding a drop in session at the Briardale Community Centre on Saturday 3rd October from 11.00am until 1.00pm. I’m hoping to get lots of people interested in getting involved.