You could put something really great here?

This little celebration of Craftivism is in honour of my friends, the Craftivist Collective, and the launch of a crowdfunding project for their first book. It is collection of my favourite personal craftivist projects. This is was originally published elsewhere on 12th March 2012:

I’ve been fascinated with guerrilla craft and craftivism (craft used for activism) for a while now. I like the way it can make people think, how it can prompt conversation. But I also like how it can be used to reclaim the human environment, so full of adverts and the constant bombardment of corporate images, yet being softer than more common street art. A little bit more incongruous.

This was my first mini-protest banner, made from a kit bought from the Craftivist Collective. The area outside of Reading train station is full of empty offices and a poorly designed 1960s arcade and bus station. It is run down and deemed beyond repair. Recently development consultants, employed by the local council, have put together a master planning vision to redevelop the area – to demolish the existing buildings and build flats, offices and shops. Completely uninspiring and a development that appears to not respond to any community needs. This is a town full of empty offices, full of empty shops, full of housing that people can not afford. A problem that isn’t going to be resolved by building more market flats.

Frustrated with the planning processes for the town where I live, my protest banner is a message to ask people to think about what else can be done to regenerate towns. I also hoped it might make someone think about the space around them and what it could be, not just what property developers think it should be… You could put something really great here?

This was my first piece of craftivism/ guerrilla craft. But it probably won’t be my last. I love the way working on it focused my mind, I found it a bit of a release. And, just between you and me, I loved putting it up and reclaiming my little bit of my town.

You can find out more about the Craftivist Collective here, buy your own mini-banner kit here and read more of celebration of craftivism posts here. Ta!


There’s a mouse, loose, about this house

In celebration of the Craftivist Collective launching a crowdfunding scheme for their first book, I’m sharing some of my favourite personal craftivist projects. A Little Book of Craftivism is something the world needs, so please have a look. This was originally published on an old blog on the 17th August 2011:

I made these little guys after reading about the Guardian’s requests for catnip mice for cats at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

All three of our cats are rescue cats – all via the RSPCA – Daria was a single mother from a neglectful home, Headley was found as a feral kitten in a colony by some town centre bins and Monty was in an abandoned litter and reared by hand. So animal rescue is a cause close to our hearts.

I’m a pretty novice knitter but was able to make one of little guys in front of the box in an evening and it feels pretty good to make something that might make a homeless animal happy.

Desconocida Unknown Ukjent

My friends, the wonderful Craftivist Collective, have launched a crowdfunding project to get their first book published. Regular readers will know, that I am a huge fan of craftivism and the creativity and accessibility opportunities this kind of ‘slow activism’ provides. So here are a collection of some of my favourite craftivism projects I have been involved in since I first met Sarah and the Collective two years ago. Please have read and see what craftivism can do and maybe we can make this book happen? This was first published on my old blog on 10th February 2011…

Almost exactly six months ago I blogged about an art project I had taken part in called Desconocida Unknown Ukjent, which I had discovered through the fabulous Craftivist Collective. Pallant Gallery were also kind enough to send me two labels to embroider at home.

Embroided name labels

Desconocida Unknown Ukjent is an international art project by the Norwegian artist Lise Bjorne Linnert to raise awareness of the murder, trafficking and abuse of women in Ciudad Juarez, on the Mexican/ US border. Since 1993, between 500 to possibly over 1000 women are believed to have been murdered in the city or have disappeared.

labels

In this art project, each participant embroiders the name of one of the dead or missing women of Ciudad Juarez and also embroiders the word ‘unknown’ to remember all the unidentified victims of similar crimes worldwide, taking the time used to embroider the name or words to remember these people.

The Aussie and I were on the South Coast this week and were able to go to Chichester to visit the Pallant Gallery and see Lise’s complete work.

All the embroidered labels in the art gallery

When embroidering the individual labels it was difficult to even imagine how they would all look all together. The labels have been displayed to spell out the lyrics of the Mexican and the USA national anthems in Morse Code, which is why there are gaps between some of them.

It is difficult to describe the emotions of what it was like to see them all together. Embroidering the single label was very moving because you knew that person had faced hardships we don’t even have to consider in the UK. But when I saw the whole wall of the labels, remembering that every single one of them represents someone that is dead or missing and that the authorities have so far done nothing to investigate a single one.

labels

I find it very difficult to put in to words the combined feeling of utter sadness and anger at the injustice.

 Please have a look at Lise Bjorne Linnert’s blog to find out more about the project.

For an update on Ciudad Juarez, there was a report on this morning’s Radio 4 Today Show (at 08.31)

Desconocida Unknown Ukjent

My friends, the wonderful Craftivist Collective, have launched a crowdfunding project to get their first book published. Regular readers will know, that I am a huge fan of craftivism and the creativity and accessibility opportunities this kind of ‘slow activism’ provides. So here are a collection of some of my favourite craftivism projects I have been involved in since I first met Sarah and the Collective two years ago. Please have read and see what craftivism can do and maybe we can make this book happen? This was first published on my old blog on 10th February 2011…

Almost exactly six months ago I blogged about an art project I had taken part in called Desconocida Unknown Ukjent, which I had discovered through the fabulous Craftivist Collective. Pallant Gallery were also kind enough to send me two labels to embroider at home.

Embroided name labels

Desconocida Unknown Ukjent is an international art project by the Norwegian artist Lise Bjorne Linnert to raise awareness of the murder, trafficking and abuse of women in Ciudad Juarez, on the Mexican/ US border. Since 1993, between 500 to possibly over 1000 women are believed to have been murdered in the city or have disappeared.

labels

In this art project, each participant embroiders the name of one of the dead or missing women of Ciudad Juarez and also embroiders the word ‘unknown’ to remember all the unidentified victims of similar crimes worldwide, taking the time used to embroider the name or words to remember these people.

The Aussie and I were on the South Coast this week and were able to go to Chichester to visit the Pallant Gallery and see Lise’s complete work.

All the embroidered labels in the art gallery

When embroidering the individual labels it was difficult to even imagine how they would all look all together. The labels have been displayed to spell out the lyrics of the Mexican and the USA national anthems in Morse Code, which is why there are gaps between some of them.

It is difficult to describe the emotions of what it was like to see them all together. Embroidering the single label was very moving because you knew that person had faced hardships we don’t even have to consider in the UK. But when I saw the whole wall of the labels, remembering that every single one of them represents someone that is dead or missing and that the authorities have so far done nothing to investigate a single one.

labels

I find it very difficult to put in to words the combined feeling of utter sadness and anger at the injustice.

 Please have a look at Lise Bjorne Linnert’s blog to find out more about the project.

For an update on Ciudad Juarez, there was a report on this morning’s Radio 4 Today Show (at 08.31)