This visit was arranged by Karen and Annette from Chain reaction at Search – essentially a project about connecting older people through shared interests. They arranged the space and the food and invited the people.Some of those who attended were from the history group and others from local craft groups – there was a bout 24 people in total. One of the things I like about taking these projects to different places is that I get to visit new venues- in this case St. James’ Church which is a place rich in history with a thriving group of volunteers who are involved in restoring the historic graveyard.
I set up the exhibition using the tables and a clothes stand/airer. I always like to share the story of how the project began to give people a bit of a context- the story of Visible Mending, Pockets and From Lincolnshire and Back always seems to strike a chord. Sharing the story helps me to remember and recall why i got involved and what participating in the project means to me. One of the joys is that in connecting with other artists through unfinished projects i have had the chance to work with different materials and to start from a place I might not have started from. Once I had introduced the project i invited people to come and have a closer look. There was such a buzz of conversations as people recalled their own experiences of making. Questions were asked such as “When is a work finished?” People spoke of not being sure where to start. Issues of neatness were discussed. How neat did a piece need to be. People thought about how sewing classes at school and the influence of their teacher. The teaching of stitching for some (including me) was bound up with the notion of femininity and perfectionism- rather than play and exploration. For some they have found a way to connect with stitching /making in a new way – for others it remains a memory from back there somewhere.
Comments from the visitors in response to the event:
”This was a wonderful display, I really enjoyed the display”
“I am talking, chatting, sharing and having a social time”
“Connections on every level, thank you”
“We love the display”
and my favourite…
“The work is lovely. We had a great day. We had a darn good day and we were in stitches”
Enough blogging for today. More about my visit soon.