Talking Needles: Hopes and Dreams
For many years I have been very conscious of my thoughts and intention when I make work, to the point where I started adding text to pieces; vocalising the wishes and thoughts with which I was imbuing the work.
I now live in rural India and spend much of my time working with a group of people, endeavouring to find a way for us all to produce an income, an income that will feed our bodies and our soul. We look at our business as a social enterprise and can see the benefits for all….most of our people are women and they bring hand stitch to our work. Our women are happy with the work- it helps feed their bodies; we have seen how sharing finished pieces with them and later pictures of our foreign clients and their appreciation has added to their satisfaction and encouraged them in their involvement with the work and its quality.
The idea for this exhibition arose from our latest designs: a series called “Hopes and Dreams”, which fit so well with what we want to share in the world and held the germ of an idea of how to give our Stitching Ladies a chance to bring their own creativity to the mix.
First layer of my idea
· Larger wall pieces produced by myself
· A collection of Hope Flags [similar to the idea of Tibetan prayer flags] – after discussion the woman and us will decide on a set of words to be used…these will be block printed in English and Hindi on each flag and then the woman will have a choice of coloured threads and space to stitch the piece as she pleases. Should be able to display as an interesting installation across the gallery perhaps. Producing work as a leisure activity is not something people have time for here- we will pay for each piece based on same method of calculation as usual work. If any pieces sell in exhibition we will pass along profits on their work.
· Hope Flags not sold will be brought home and made into quilts which we will draw lots for amongst those who contributed to the project.
· Running in the gallery I would like a computer short video slide presentation of the women [saying hello] – it will create excitement here just making it and I think be interesting for gallery visitors. I would invite gallery visitors to make quick videos [ any camera or phone will record them these days] which can added to the gallery presentation and will also be shown back home here. I know this will create a lot of excitement here and create a link with the people and places our work travels to.
Second Layer of the idea
· This idea lends itself to the possibility of being developed in conjunction with a textile group[s].
· In this case we would ask the members of the group to cover the costs for their pieces [textiles are mostly a hobby in the developed world], creatively working into their pieces they need to keep in mind it will later need to be washed if they are used in a quilt for the women.
· Again Hope Flags would be available for sale….any Indian women’s sales the profit goes to the women- any developed world women’s sales the profit goes to a group designated charity.
· We would be happy to produce a quilt from the works to sell/ raffle at the gallery with profit going to a charity…any other work will come here to be made into quilts for the women’s use.
· If the idea was to travel to more than one gallery the slide presentation would grow and grow.
comments, suggestions, possible involvement??