Phew, into 2021 lets hope it offers some light at the end of the tunnel regarding the Covid situation. I’ve been pottering on with my embroidery and am really enjoying exploring different stitches and layering effects. I even added a bit of clay modelling despite being advised not to by friends on social media. I hope to use such samplers with participants in my proposed workshop for sexual abuse survivors as an aid to connectivity and inter-relatedness. I don’t want to share what I do with them though as I don’t want to unduly influence. Creativity is particular, personal and innate and I hope to bring that out without participants feeling the need to copy or imitate. I will offer bespoke demonstration of stitch and embellishment, but the ideas will very much be their own. You just can’t help but be creative starting with a very simple running stitch. I really believe in the benefits of all this as an aid to bring us into the present, not as a distraction, but to experience the moment in a fuller and un-staid manner. I have sent a proposal to a local facility that offers counselling to such survivors. They said there may be some funding for materials, so fingers crossed that it comes off this year when we get the vaccine and can meet in person. It really does need to be experienced this way on so many levels.
I have been experimenting with another strand of artisitic endeavor recently. I can’t offer my proposed workshops in sensorial abstract puppetry at a local facility that offers counselling to sexual abuse survivors because we are in level 3 of Covid restrictions.
However, I recently listened to a radio 4 programme called ‘The Touch Test’. This was very interesting for me, especially the section where an embroideress worked with a surgeon using her creations to help him investigate malignant tumours through touch in the fragile fabrics she uses. She attends operations to watch what they do. I thought about the parallel for sexual abuse survivors who have a heightened awareness of this sense. I set about creating this textile quilt response with scraps I have in the studio. It also follows on from the mini-quilt experiments that I have shared on here. Creating through touch in this way would bring participants into the present moment, in a continuous and creative fashion giving creators agency which is potentially healing. So watch this space! I could work with folk on Zoom potentially. The hard surface of the table in front of participants would also offer a solid and comforting quality, and prevent fragile pieces of fabric from floating around in an alarming way.
Here is the Touch Test link: