I graduated in 2015 with my MA Art and Environment from Falmouth University. Since then life has been a fair bit of a rollercoaster, slowly the stormy waves of life are settling and I am literally picking up the lose threads.
Since then I have been involved during summer 2017in the School of Craft at Newlyn Art Gallery, where I enjoyed teaching a range of taster workshops from Hand spinning to Matchbox Weaving and taking part in Sarah Johnson’s Indigo Workshop.
As I am still in recovery, I have returned to the the gentle art of stitching, finishing small hand stitched projects, learning English Paper Piecing and taking part in Indigo dyeing workshops.
I am essay writing and as it is heartbreaking to sit in front of a computer on such a beautiful day, as it is today, I am grateful for the chance to completely be immersed in the thoughts of Sustainability and Art and where I place myself. And I got roughly an idea…….. In the meantime, it is good to walk the talk and do a few stitches, almost to rewire myself and let the other brain half have a go…..
My Backyard is my World
Six Nations and my Backyard
The idea of Six nations is a metaphor for the all non-human and human being, equal, it sees plants, insects, birds, fish, mammals and human as a nation with equal rights. An image which is strongly related to ideas from Deep Ecology.
“In the old days, the old fellows were sitting around, all the women were laughing , joking – so all that conversation has gone into the basket.”
Verna Nichols , Tasmania
This quote gathered to much up, how I feel about my practise.
When I look again at the cloth were people have embroidered on on now 4 occasions, it seems as if I can still her the voices, the stories and the laughter. And I see as well those, how were quietly stitching, not saying much, but listing and still part, adding their stitches.
My practise has these two aspects
– creating spaces where people can experience again a communal situation, of working with their hands creatively and being with people
– working on my own with very slow technique using Embroidery, Knitting, Crochet and very recently hand spinning as a meditative activity
– Working with my “traveling” projects where ever I am, on the train, in Cafés, with friends talking at the Folk evenings in my home town
Sometimes when I pick up a embroidered cloth, or a hat, knitted from my own pattern and from well chosen wool, I smile as the memories flood back.
The more I think about it, the more I realise that the underlying intend for my activities, shared and alone is Wellbeing.
What wonderful opening of the symposium ” Beyond the Toolkit”!
It has been a great afternoon of meeting people who are going to give talks and workshops tomorrow in the context of the symposium.
I am very grateful for Fiona Hackney and her team who created this amazing event and cast the net to bring so many people together; people who bring their keen interest in the relationship of Craft and Wellbeing to this event and share their ideas, stories and experiences.
One of tonight’s speakers was Monika Auch, a visual artist and medical researcher. More about her work and her project “Stitch your Brain” tomorrow !!!
I was invited by Ilker Cinarel to take part in the exhibition:
INNterval – An artistic collaboration at the Halsetown Inn – a tribute to the legacy of J.Henry Irving.
The Halsetown Inn, 2nd / 8th February 2014
It was a mixed media show, ranging from painting, drawing, sculpture, video, photography and Embroidery!
It was a wonderful night for me, as right from the beginning of the private view till the end people were gathering around the table and started stitching. As a space became free, someone new joined in!
When I was talking to people, I noticed the joy and pleasure, they took out of this rather unexpected opportunity in the context of an otherwise conceptual exhibition setting. It was interesting to watch people stitching and talking, with great intensity!
I am very thankful to Ilker Cinarel, for the opportunity to show my work and to all the people who became participants in the Joy of Stitch!
Every day, in newspapers and on television, we read and hear about the ongoing destruction of the environment: the greenhouse effect, ozone layer depletion, deforestation, and air and water pollution. Deep Ecology offers a solution to the environmental crisis through a radical shift in human consciousness—a fundamental change in the way people relatewith the environment. Instead of thinking of nature as a resource to be used for human needs, Deep Ecology argues that the true value of nature is intrinsic and independent of its utility. Emerging in the 1980s as an influential philosophical, social, and political movement, Deep Ecology has shaped the environmental debate among leading activists and policymakers—from former Vice-President Al Gore to Dave Forman, cofounder of Earth First!Deep Ecology for the Twenty-First Century contains thirty-nine articles by the leading writers and thinkers in the filed, offering a comprehensive array of perspectives on this new approach to environmentalism, exploring:• The basic philosophy of Deep Ecology.
• Its roots in the writings of Henry David Thoreau, John Muir and Rachel Carson.
• The relationship of Deep Ecology to social ecology, ecofeminism, the Greens, and New Age futurism.
• How Deep Ecology as a way of life is exemplified by two important environmentalists: poet Gary Snyder and Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess.
• The philosophical dimensions of this environmental movement by its leading theorist.
• The politics of ecological sustainability and the social and political implications of Deep Ecology for the next century.
Race, Gender, Feminist Theory, and Political Action
Examining the development of ecofeminism from the 1980s antimilitarist movement to an internationalist ecofeminism in the 1990s, Sturgeon explores the ecofeminist notions of gender, race, and nature. She moves from detailed historical investigations of important manifestations of US ecofeminism to a broad analysis of international environmental politics.
Race, Gender, Feminist Theory, and Political Action
Here feminist philosophers and ecofeminist scholars pursue the connections between feminism and environmentalism. Topics include the ecofeminist ethic; the role of patriarchal concepts in perpetuating the domination of women and nature; the grassroots origins and character of a thoughtful ecofeminism; the “ecofeminism-deep ecology debate” in environmental philosophy; deep ecological treatment of animal rights and the omission of ecofeminist analyses of the domination of animals, abortion, and nuclear deterrence; and ways ecofeminism and the science of ecology are or could be engaged in complementary, supportive projects.
The contributors are Carol J. Adams, Carol H. Cantrell, Jim Cheney, Chris Cuomo, Deane Curtin, Victoria Davion, Roger J. H. King, Stephanie Lahar, Patricia Jagentowicz Mills, Patrick D. Murphy, Val Plumwood, Catherine Roach, Robert Sessions, Deborah Slicer, and Karen J. Warren.
Women healing earth:
Third World women on ecology, feminism, and religion
Drawing on the insights of ecology, feminism, and socialism, ecofeminism’s basic premise is that the ideology that authorizes oppression based on race, class, gender, sexuality, physical abilities, and species is the same ideology that sanctions the oppression of nature. In this collection of essays, feminist scholars and activists discuss the relationships among human begins, the natural environment, and nonhuman animals. They reject the nature/culture dualism of patriarchal thought and locate animals and humans within nature. The goal of these twelve articles is to contribute to the evolving dialogue among feminists, ecofeminists, animal liberationists, deep ecologists, and social ecologists in an effort to create a sustainable lifestyle for all inhabitants of the earth. Among the issues addressed are the conflicts between Green politics and ecofeminism, various applications of ecofeminist theory, the relationship of animal liberation to ecofeminism, harmful implications of the romanticized woman-nature associationin Western culture, and cultural limitations of ecofeminism.
Indiana University Press, 22 May 1997 – Nature – 472 pages
“… provides readers with a much-needed cross-cultural and multidisciplinary perspective on ecofeminist activism and scholarship.” — Iris
“… a very important contribution to the literature on ecological feminism.” — Ethics
“I think the unique collection of so many different perspectives will help to push readers out of their disciplinary views and work to bring theory and practice together in meaningful ways…. an excellent resource for scholars and teachers…” — Teaching Philosophy
Here the potential strengths and weaknesses of the growing ecofeminist movement are critically assessed by scholars in a variety of academic disciplines and vocations, including anthropology, biology, chemical engineering, education, political science, recreation and leisure studies, sociology, and political organizing.
This is a book about simplicity – not destitution, parsimoniousness or self-denial, but the restoration of wealth in the midst of an afflence in which we are starving the spirit. It is a book about the advantages of living a less cluttered, less stressful life than that which has become the norm in the overcrowded and manic-paced consuming nations. It is a book about having less and enjoying more, enjoying time to do the work you love, enjoying time to spend with your family, enjoying time to pursue creative projects, enjoying time for good eating, enjoying time just to be.
Here are the first glimpses from the Graduation show! what pleases me most, is that people have been in acting with the embroidery and added their stitches to the large cloth which was started at the Event at the Exchange, Penzance.
Soon there will be more photos and reflective writing. The Show comes down on Friday, 21. June.
I have been reading in Jane Brocket’s book ‘The Gentle Art of Stitchning’ and came across Sashiko Embroidery. I amfazinted by the imagges of old, traditionalle Sashiko, which was used for darning and embellishing at the same time. I love the look of the worn and faded indigo dyed cloth, embroidered with white cotton yarn. I had come across these images before when I was researching about the Japanese Wabi-Sabi philoshophy . So many aspects of this tradition appeal to me, it the simplicity of the stitch, the matrial and the underlying idea to use it for mending and caring.
It feels strange, to go home from the college and not being able to take out ‘The Small One’ and carry on stitching. All is done now in the space, the screens are up and running with my films, , the 3 cloth pieces in their hops are laying on an old bench together with the cloth piece of the event ‘Coffee, Cake and Stitch’. On a table are the Stitch Samplers layed out. A small table and three chairs are in the space with the large cloth from the event. There is an invitation to stitch.
For two weeks the three companion piece will be in the space and I feel almost bereft! During the show (Sat. 15. – Wedn. 19.June, 10.00 – 17.00, at University Falmouth, Woodlane Campus) I can work on them for a while.
It is a very strange feeling, almost sudden, even so there was a huge build up over the last two month and now its done, over, finished, in the public eye, scrutinized and judged.
What keeps me boyand and afloat are my memories of the lovely comments on the Stitch Samplers and peoples reaction on the event, and also in conversations.
I will have to start a new cloth, to keep me company!
I was spending a morning with my friend Mark Leahy, a lecturer and performance artist and pondering about the question, why I preferred the term “Stitch” to ” Embroidery”. Mark responded immediately in saying the later one is loaded with associations of decorative, historical, and expectation of skill. In a way I hadn’t really thought about it, only became aware, that I had preferred to use the word ‘Stitch’, calling the project ‘Time and Stitch’ and the pieces of the project ‘Stitch samplers’. The event was called ‘Coffee, Cake and Stitch’. Strangely only on the collaboration with a musician, I had called the documentation ‘Music and Embroidery’. Musing about Mark’s remark, I thought, he got a point; the word ‘Stitch’ feels open and freer, feels free of expectations and I often had to explain this to people, who took part in the project and the event, that I didn’t expect fanciful or skilful embroidery. My emphasis was to share the experience of stitching with other people and inviting them to share their experience with me.
And they did! Through their writing and talking to me about their experience.
Sometimes someone would say “Oh, it is about Cross-Stitch??” and I had to say, that it was about the process and the experience of Stitching.
Why do I use Cross-Stitch? I like to stitch with Stitches which cover the stitched surface and are simple. Cross-stitch does that for me; it gives me a framework to work in the pattern, starting in the middle and working my way to the edge. It is simple, I don’t have to think too much about it, can enjoy the rhythm and the movement. When I am on my own, I can pay attention to my breathing and be in the present moment. When in company, I can still share the conversation and carry on stitching.
I was curious what people would stitch and had no expectations. Still I was surprised that no one referred to any pre-fabricated pattern from books, magazines or websites. People really worked with, what they knew and enjoyed and wanted to share.
On the event ‘Coffee, Cake and Stitch’ some people asked me at the beginning: “What do you want me to do?” and I just said:”Stitch!” and they did!
As having receives permission to play with cloth and yarn, it enabled them to enjoy the process and the sharing in company: quite a few said on leaving:”When you do another one (Stitch Event) let me know!”