Yesterday was the first of six sessions for a community project I’m running with Mandeep Dhadialla. We have been commissioned by ArtReach to create a project with refugees from around the world and now living in Leicester exploring stories of textiles & recycling. It was such an inspiring and enjoyable session with really fantastic conversations and creative work.
For this first session I shared a collection of world textiles which we will use throughout the project as our inspiration. We talked about embroidery and decoration in the clothing from the participants’ countries and cultures and we started the process of a creating a group artwork using these textiles as our source.
We made rubbings, tracings and drawings of the embellished and decorated cloth and we shared conversations about who made these stitches and the similarities and differences of cloth and culture around the world. The project continues weekly for a few weeks with the addition of printmaking and textile techniques and the collecting of stories of textile re-use and preservation which will all be shared at ArtReach’s Re/action festival in Leicester in August.
Working with this group and hearing their stories is also being very fruitful for my thinking about my own work on migration, refugees and displacement which I’ll be sharing more about in the coming months.
You can find out more about my work with communities and previous projects here. I’ve got some exciting collaborations and co-creation projects in development for the next couple of years including ones where anyone can get involved in sharing stories and contributing to my creative projects. Keep in touch to find out more via my email newsletter.