A light shard pierced the sea this morning as the sun rose – as well it might for today is a grand day. In 2018 an embryo of an idea came to life to start a community arts project that focused on ‘small work.’ The idea was to create a postcard piece of work once a week for 52 weeks. Back then, who could have imagine all of this?
Today, the Arran and West Kilbride group are sharing their creative journeys through an exhibition that opens at the Barony Centre in West Kilbride. It is a joyous moment for all involved and proof that the idea had legs! Those legs have galloped across waters joining up a diverse community from different parts of the world all creating small work. It has defined its own sense of community.
Included in the exhibition is work from wider members through a series of open calls. There is so much to see and so many stories to read. But, for me, one story stands out. It is a story that tells the tale of social isolation with a series of postcards produced by members and then stitched into a panel. Connecting the postcards is simple Kantha embroidery that weaves between the pieces. A visible and very real thread that is the metaphor for the whole project. In 2020 the human race discovered that we are vulnerable and we are living through a time we will never forget. In these times 52 Stitched Stories has reached out, across and within to create a space that is safe, secure and restful. Long may that continue.
The project is, indeed, continuing to offer support for members on their 52 journey at this time as well as supporting members who have completed but want to remain connected to the project.
I have long held the belief that stitching has its own language and I am constructing a community experiment that will aim to test that. I want to use this new chapter of the 52 journey to strengthen our connections by coming together in creative and engaging ways. I hope to share the details of this very soon.
Meantime, let us enjoy some of the early images emerging from the setting up of the exhibition and pop back in a few weeks for a full photo gallery and a wee ‘walk through video’. Congratulations teams Arran and West Kilbride and the wider community on a job extremely well done.