Tuesday 31 July 2012

Melton Mowbray Felt Wall Hangings

The project began with the creation of a set of photographs taken in and around Melton Mowbray and the three Sure Start Centres, The Edge, Fairmead and The Cove to act as inspiration for the imagery in the hangings. Further consultation with staff and participants lead to the creation of a master drawing to inspire felted pieces. The central themes were the kind of help and support offered to young families by the Sure Start Centres, the 2012 Olympics, The Torch Relay and the Queen’s Jubilee.

As each centre has different types of space, I decided to create a set of hangings, which took the issue of space into account. The hangings have been designed in such a way that they can fit almost any available space in an easily changed combination. The design has been inspired by, and takes the format of, the baby blanket, an everyday item and a potent symbol of comfort, warmth and love. Each set has a large central panel – the style is loose and reminiscent of a pastel sketch or a child’s drawing. 

Participants have learnt how to create images using a wet felting technique which is very old and very connected to home and family – Mongolian yurts have been made for centuries in this way, creating portable homes that are warm, sturdy and weather proof. Wool and felt have played a huge part in Britain’s history and it has been good to take a traditional technique and give it a contemporary use. 

Many thanks to Louise Callaghan, Jess Laws, Shantel Gibbons who created many of the pieces and helped to make this project a success!

Imagery on the Central Panels:-

The Edge – Mother and child walking with baby in pushchair

Fairmead – Two toddlers playing outdoors – bunting in the background

The Cove – Mother and baby reading in the garden – trees and bunting in the background

Key to smaller blankets

Union Jack for Team GB and the Jubilee
Olympic Torch to commemorate the Torch Relay coming through Melton
Crowns – the Jubilee
Cake with candle & number 60 - the Jubilee
Swimmer – 2012 Olympics
Gold medal -  2012 Olympics
ABC – support & encouragement of reading at Sure Start Centres
123 - support & encouragement of numeracy at Sure Start Centres
Hearts – caring, family, community
Flowers – nature, countryside, fresh air, breathing spaces
Play – celebrating Stay & Play sessions at Sure Start Centres and highlighting the importance of play in a child’s development
Hand and Heart – family, support, community, love, care, working together
Fruit – Healthy eating

There are also two sets of bunting created for The Edge, which can be used in any celebratory context.

Project work hand over with Clive Breedon and Kate Parkinson representing Melton Borough Council and the Sure Start Centres

Saturday 14 July 2012

Olympic Mosaics in Druids Heath

Just before the end of the Summer Term I had a 6 day residency at Bells Farm Primary School near Birmingham. I was working with Year 6 pupils to help them create 5 mosaic panels as a Legacy Project. Each panel featured the silhouette of a sporting activity on a 1m x 1m board. There were many other activities going on during the week, a  sleep over for Year 6, the school production of The Jungle book, flute practice, sports coaching, art activities and the finishing of work books. Through it all staff and pupils remained lively, active and focussed and were a delight to work with. All the children have wonderful singing voices too and the working days went with a swing!


Filling the gaps






Sunday 1 July 2012

Get Involved & Olympic Values banners, Corby

Kate Dyer and I were given the task of creating a series of banners for Corby Sports Forum celebrating local sporting and Olympic heroes. Local sports groups supplied the photographs, Kate and I met with the groups and were delighted when they approved my banner templates.

banners seen along part of the Torch Relay Route 

Artists Kate Dyer, Jo Dacombe and I worked with children from many of the schools in Corby making drawings that expressed the Olympic values. There were many wonderful drawings made and there will be a touring exhibition later in the year. 

After the drawings were made Kate transformed blank templates, similar to those used in the banners above into a series of banners which can now be seen along the route of the Torch Relay throughout Corby. Why not see if you can spot them all!