The High Street Stitch Up - Collaborative Community Project
Arts Alive needed a community project, and so this was my idea, to stitch the High Street. Thinking back, I had never really stitched anything much before and so I came at this project as a complete novice. Where did that come from? It must have been from a visit back to my hometown of Glasgow around year 2000 ; I was lucky enough to see the Keeping Glasgow in Stitches project hanging in the Art Galleries. I've never been the same again!
I could see the High Street finished in my head, and knew how each person could contribute. I had to give out pieces to accomplished stitchers but also needed to include areas where people could learn basic stitches and do some quite 'freestyle' work.
Without knowing it this project was so give me all the experience and skills I needed to design and run successful community projects in the future. We actually went on to stitch the other side of the street, and then the Children's panel.
I love the juxtaposition of incredibly skilled work sitting alongside the naive The contrast brings the work alive and actually works in a complementary way. The variety of workmanship leads to a character in the overall work that I think represents the variety of character and characters that make up a community.
And there is always, always tea and cake.
The last picture is of me and Susan, we stitched ourselves onto the panel. Susan McComb has been my textile guru since the age of 14 when we were at school together and knitting aubergines.