Monday 5 October 2015

LV21 Marks on Cloth:Charting your Course

Last weekend was full of nautical surprises. I found my way back to my old stomping ground in the Medway towns where I trained as a community artist and was welcomed aboard LV21 to celebrate the publication of Stitch Stories as part of the Fun Palaces weekend. A misty day soon gave way to wonderful Autumn sunshine.

LV21 and The Medway Queen (photo Sheilagh Dyson)
With support of the LV21 Making More group of artists visitors of all ages took part in stitch and textile activities marking the Medway's nautical heritage to create a communicative, collaborative textile installation as a visual record of the experiences aboard the ship. We started by exploring the ship’s surroundings and the different textures and features  on board, then transferred our findings onto cloth samplers, learning about different stitching techniques and blending these with traditional nautical communication methods, such as Morse code, semaphore and signal flags.

Keeping the colours to those featured on the ship, red, cream and black and using sailcloth as a base gave a continuity to the new signs and signals being  marked on the cloth with drawing and stitch.
On board were also some of the artists featured in the book including Sheilagh Dyson (who also provided some of the images on this blog), Nicola Flower and the ship's captain, Paivi Seppala who all have a strong connection with the Medway.
Sheilagh Dyson, Sandling Ghosts
Nicola Flower, Purses form the River Medway
Paiva Seppala, Semaphore, works in progress
Echoing the heritage of this fascinating region and anchored alongside LV21 were the Medway Queen, one of the valiant little ships which ferried people across from Dunkirk, and an old Sailing Barge 'Cambria' with its lovely red cloth canvas. Medway indeed has a proud heritage. 
Finally, as if the last blast of summer was not enough, a wonderful review of Stitch Stories on Textileartist by Sue Stone came to my attention on the same day! Enter your own feedback on a fave book and you could be in with a chance of winning a copy too.
LV21 Cas Holmes (photo courtesy of Gary Weston)

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