I’m getting very excited (and busy) planning a community project that will consist of a number of workshops where I teach people to curve stitch to a standard where they can make the work and easily talk at the same time.
We will then, publicly and collaboratively, make a large-scale piece of curve stitching for exhibition in March 2016, at Colours May Vary in Leeds, and record our conversations whilst we are in the process of making the work. Excerpts of the conversations will form an intrinsic part of the final exhibition and an accompanying publication.
I have always been fascinated by how differently we converse when we have something to do that occupies our hands, our eyes and the part of our brain that worries. Working together in a group on an activity like curve stitching, knitting, quilt making etc. creates these circumstances and differences in conversations; we are no longer worried about silences, we bond over the shared activity and relax, we don’t need to make eye contact or think about what we’re going to say next, there might be gaps and pauses at a particularly tricky part of the work but we all understand what’s happening.
I want to document this way of speaking and communicating and make it a core part of the exhibition. From working in groups previously I have ideas of what will happen to the conversations, but I’d like the time and space to really observe and reflect on what happens, especially if the members of the group come from different backgrounds or cultures.
I’m also really excited to be working on the project with Lee Goater, a rather brilliant graphic designer, so that we can ensure the conversations/typography are given the same level of care and attention as the images in the exhibition.
So, just need to get it funded now…