My working class background is something I am very proud of. My ancestors worked in the textile mills in Bradford the 18 and 1900's and I feel that this has some significance! Something my tutor said ' You cant move forward till you go back' has struck a cord with me. I have great respect for these mill workers, the conditions they worked in were not easy. The mill owners profited well from the industry but the workers were poorly paid and I hope to do some more investigative research into the social situation of my ancestors as well as the work they did in the mills.
As part of my second presentation for Professional Context I wrote the above Manifesto to keep me honed in on issues I want to tackle and concentrate on..............
Going Forward; I will endeavour to bring attention to the otherwise discarded and unwanted through the remaking and reworking of organic materials. Transforming these materials into beautiful objects or pieces that will provoke conversation and questions as to what they are made from and how they were made. Inevitably my aim is to draw attention to the ‘real’ and physicality of life and the need for us as a society to reflect on how we contribute to the growing destruction of our planet. Through slow making and reflective processes I will highlight how precious the little things in life make a big difference.
The Slow Movement and the art of slow stitch is occupying my making at the moment. Influenced by work by Claire Wesley Smith I have been experimenting stitching into hand made paper. This process of simple stitching is a way of getting to grips with the sense of making again, recycling used or made materials and experiencing materiality and the rhythm of making.We live in such a fast paced world jumping from one thing to another. We are constantly interrupted by digital devices that encroach our day to day lives constantly. If we don't check our social networking sites on a regular basis we are led to believe we will miss out on something.....but do we really it will still be there at he end of the day!! These devices are a constant interruption and distract us from the tasks we are involved in and the world around us. I can take a bus journey to Leeds and only 'glance' at the beautiful countryside which is ridiculous! They take us away from what we are doing and it takes a long time to get refocused and back to the original task. Our brains are not wired to multi task we can only focus on one activity at a time (we sort of toggle between activities!) We are constantly obsessed with the destination and not the journey. Making helps focus the mind; by being creative you become more engaged. Slow stitch offers a rhythm and flow of making which I am intrigued with and I will explore this more.........
Wesley Smith, Claire, Slow Stitch, 2015,Batsford, London
Honore, Carl, In Praise of the Slow, 2005, UK, Harper Collins
I've come across this book by David Gauntlet a professor of Creativity & Design at the University of Westminster. It is such a great book; easy to read very down to earth not like other academic books that blow your mind!! Its always good to read a professionals stance on things and be able to relate to them, and think 'that's just the way I think!'
Contrary to what people think I am not 'against' the Internet and Social Media. As recent personal events have proved, social media can be a fantastic tool to engage with people who have the same passion and love for the same thing!(You all know who you are!!) Gauntlet emphasises this, he sees the positives in the coming together of artisans and craftspeople, anyone who creates, through the Internet and our need in society to make and get our work out there.
The 'slow movement' is something I can relate to; the movement of making, slowing down, taking time to make, learning through making, appreciating the skill and time someone has taken to produce something. We live in such a fast paced world. It seems we are driven to cram as much as we can into everyday. But how are we supposed to take time to chill, reflect and savour the good times those important moments in life when we never have time to stop and reflect on them we are on to the next thing!! I think I will be using this book a lot!
(Gauntlet, David, Making is Connecting, 2011, UK, Polity Press)
MA Creative Practice