Half of our country is in grief


I couldn’t bare to post any studio updates these last few weeks. My small studio world seemed so trivial in comparison what was happening in the UK. Half of our country voted to leave the EU. Half of our country is now grieving from this decision. Most of us are in disbelief at the sheer farce that has happened since then. The main instigators of the Leave campaign have resigned. The Prime Minister has resigned and Labour MPs are ganging up on our one shining light of hope Jeremy Corbyn, who for me, stands for everything I want in a leader of a left wing government. We are in limbo and I have never in my lifetime felt so uncertain about what this means for our future.

It seems that for many that voted to leave, this also has made it acceptable for them to say to pretty much anyone that isn’t a full blooded Brit to ‘Go Home!’ My friend who is half Iranian got spat on in the street. Every few days I hear of school children telling other school children to go back to their country.  SCHOOL CHILDREN! This is not a country that represents me. I am European (my grandfather was French) but I am also British, yet currently I am embarrassed of this fact, that to the rest of the world the UK is coming across as a segregated racist country. In my lifetime I have had a chip thrown at me in the street, been told that ‘my people’ killed a mans grandfather in WW2, been called racist names on public transport and was once told by a teacher that if a child is being racist towards me then I should just be racist back. We are now not only isolating ourselves from the EU but also creating a barrier from the rich community of cultures that make up the UK. There has always been a problem with racism but after the EU referendum it feels like it has gotten a lot worse.

But life must go on and I must go back into the studio and this week I have realised that my work on INHABIT and the ideas around otherness, migration and borderless practice has never felt more important. 

I made good progress on developing the Bojagi Korean wrapping cloths and taking them into sculpture, playing around with framing and light as well as trying out some hand painted versions for a workshop last Saturday which worked very well. Here are a few from the students…

I also showed the technique of how to make a sewn Bojagi which uses a French Seam.  See, even my techniques are European!

As it was my first Bojagi workshop I think it went really well and I’m keen to do some regular Bojagi workshops as it seems to be relatively unknown in the area. Well if anyone reading is interested then let me know!?

I have another workshop in a few weeks on loom knitted raw silk, sadly sold out already so that’s what I’ll be working on this week as unlike other workshops I run, this one will be contributing to a knitted sculpture for the INHABIT exhibition.


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