Conflict leads to trauma and displacement. This has led me to a practice involving research, witness, compassion and solidarity alongside those who have lived through these challenges.
I have been privileged to work with many people who are simply seeking safety and a place to regulate their nervous system. They have changed my life; opening my eyes and my heart.
This page highlights some of the projects I've been fortunate enough to work on.
We All Live Under The Same Blue Sky, 2023,
inspired by the motto of the Afghan Peace Volunteers
Below pictured with Afghan Peace Volunteers in Kabul
This is a project about Moving. Humans have always moved, explored and investigated all the corners of planet earth. They have done this to improve their circumstances, to move to safety, and in some instances simply because they were curious about what they might find.
This project contains stories from children who have moved around our planet; from Afghanistan and Ukraine, but also simply from one part of the UK to the other. Children experimented with sublimation printing, cyanotype, batik and sewing to express thoughts about where they are from, where they feel safe and who they are missing. We collaborated with artist Ed Boxall, who helped us produce the book 'The White Bird'; documenting our process.
It is thought that humans started moving out of Africa between 60,000 and 80,000 years ago, and this was likely due to climate change. Humans have always moved.
WHERE ARE YOU REALLY FROM?
The second project with Stitch For Change and The Refugee Buddy Project, this time in conjunction with Hastings Museum. A group of people seeking refuge, now settled in Hastings, and their buddies came together to stitch narrative textile pieces; each telling their own very personal and meaningful stories.
From reflections on various wars across the globe, to the story of how a mother escaped the Holocaust, each piece became a poignant testimony as to the importance of identity, belonging and a sense of home.
Photos of personal items and loved ones were printed onto fabric and sewn with text and imagery to create evocative artworks.
The finished pieces were exhibited at Hastings Museum as part of Refugee Week 2022.
ALL IN THE SAME STORM: PANDEMIC PATCHWORK STORIES
The Refugee Buddy Project launched Stitch For Change in 2019. During 2020's pandemic, 70 people met regularly online to share their experiences and find a collective voice. Through connection via Zoom and by sharing creative skills, participants were able to support themselves and each other through what was otherwise an incredibly challenging period. I was lucky enough to be one of the two facilitators leading the sessions, alongside textile artist Jimena Pardo who introduced us to the fascinating world of Chilean Arpilleras
Project participants told their stories of life during the pandemic through the stitching of handmade patchwork squares, revealing tales of isolation, togetherness and hope. 95 patches were made in total; these were sewn together into four quilts that were displayed in an exhibition at De La Warr Pavilion.
You can watch a film about the project here: