With the closing of borders as the world ‘stays at home’, this time is particularly poignant as we maintain social distancing during the Covid 19 pandemic to protect each other and our health services. Never had the world seemed so silent of the sound of human movement as during the Spring 2020.
The connection we have to landscape and place is at the heart of my work and the question ‘What We Value-What We Miss’, formed the basis of my research and exhibition Places, Spaces, Traces for Gypsy Maker 4 in terms of the relationship we have to ‘identity’ and ‘place’. What would you value enough to bring with you if forced to leave your home, and what you would miss if you had to leave it behind? In these strange times, these simple words have equal resonance now we find our lives restricted of movement and not able to see friends or family to share a cuppa or pass the time.
This new work which has it roots in Textile Landscape, has led to an invitation for me to create an installation for exhibition at the Sint-Anna-ten-Drieën Antwerp in 2022 through the organisation vzw ANNA3. from19th June to the 25 September. A selection of the pieces called The Shipping Forecast was installed in the amazing creative space of a converted lightvessel LV21, in Gravesend in the UK as well as at R Space in Lisburn, Northern Ireland.(further information under Work.
I have been stitching words as I travelled over the last two years combined with other fragments and pieces generously donated along the way. During the last year I have been working away and the pieces are coming together. I would like to add some words or even small stitched pieces reflecting on these times and connecting us to each other. Simply email me your words for me to hand stitch or add your own stitched words to a fragment of linen/cotton so I can stitch it to the installation as it progresses (these small stitched fragments will not be be returned)
These are examples of some of themes included.
A treasured flowering plant, one young man I spoke to recently talked of missing his grandmother’s garden and roses in Iran.
The everyday household things cups, saucers and tea things that connect you to family.
Enjoying the birds in a park or the simple act of walking in a sunshine.
Daily cycle or walk in a park./woodland
Connection to family and friends
You are also welcome to create your own stitched sampler with words and images about the things you everyday things you value more or miss (For further details of posting your work to myself or direct to Anna 3 please use the contact form on this website)
Below are examples of individual pieces which have been sent in. The words and images are stitched as if quickly handwritten. Many of these individual pieces have been kindly donated to the project Some have been added to the larger installation, others will be installed separately. My intention is to offer these small pieces to a suitable home as a gesture of friendship after the project is finished (TBC). I have also received notifications of several groups taking up the theme from Antwerp, The Scottish Highlands and further afield. I will reveal more later in the year
The materials used in the images are mostly cotton or linen in a neutral or limited colour palette, except for the existing embroidery on the cloth. Everyday household materials handkerchiefs and small napkins/pieces of clothing would be ideal.
Feel free to share your stitched pieces on social media with hashtags #whatwemiss #whatwevalue #everydaythings #covid19
A story cloth of our time
The piece from 52 Stitched Stories will make a response to the shipping forecast, stormy seas and migrant travel. It will focus on the real stories from the voices of the migrants themselves to which we must bear witness. The home of 52 Stitched Stories is the Isle of Arran off the west coast of Scotland. Living on a small island means we are often cut off from the mainland due to poor weather. Our connection with the sea provides a small lens through which to try and contemplate what it must be like to get into a small overcrowded boat and try and cross one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. We want our piece to record and speak the stories that are often ignored or even lost forever
Below: Installation work in progress ‘The Shipping Forecast’ this contains words stitched onto fragments as I travelled and walked over 2018-22 along the themes of migration and movement of people. The words are readable from the reverse side,
What We Value/Miss. Work in progress. I started stitching on this in the Autumn/Winter 20/21. I want to add your words to this yet to be identified piece.