Use Your Hands For Happiness: 2019

Use Your Hands FOR Happiness  Margate Festival ‘NOW’ 2019

This  installation was conceived as large scale abstract textile artworks, raising questions around textile waste, consumption, and ways of living and creating sustainably. Via an indoor installation in my studio, open studio days, talks and workshops, this work  contributed to the festival concept of NOW and celebrating Margate’s creative identity.

The work references a project from 2007/8 when I was selected for a project with Craft Central in Clerkenwell.  As part of the residency I was given access to the archive material in the library and stores of The Geffrye Museum, now re-launched as The Museum of The Home, in Dalston. Researching a history of women’s making, saving, thrift, resourcefulness and the crafting of women’s own lives and environments, merged with my own personal history and memories of my grandmother Mabel Coyle (Smith).

UYHFH is a call to action, seen in women’s journals and magazines from the early to mid 20th century that were housed in the museum library. Encapsulating a kind of personal agency, that played an important role for many women when other freedoms and rights were limited, this call has additional relevance now, as an antidote to rampant consumerism and the climate change crisis.

These were portable hanging textile works for residents and visitors to view, share in and to act as catalyst for discussion. Made using screen printing, appliqué and stitch, reclaimed and waste fabrics. The scale and materiality of the work was visually engaging, using colour, texture and bold abstract form to draw attention to our relationship with materials, waste and hand making.