Tag Archives | uk

Photos from Craftspace Youth’s Sexuality and Gender Roles Workshop

The other day on Twitter, @CraftspaceYouth mentioned having a workshop on sexuality and gender roles, which I found by searching the #craftivism hashtag, as I look at it from time to time to see what craftivists around the world are up to. One thing I’m super proud of is the variety of work that people come up with, as they take craftivism and make it their own, tailoring it to the subjects that they care most fervently about in life.

In this case, this workshop tackled a sensitive issue for many and, as you can see from the photos below, the takeaway here is that everyone has a right to feel safe in their body and to love the person(s) they want to love. What I love about this project is that it allowed young people a safe space for discussion and dialogue, where they could make work that expressed how they’re feeling inside and then talk about those feelings with others. This is what makes craftivism so personally transformative, this chance to work out your feelings as you craft, both internally and externally.

As I’d like to share more of the craftivist projects that people are doing on here, I asked them to send me some photos of the workshop, which they did! Craftspace Youth is the youth section of Craftspace, am amazing “crafts development organisation” in Birmingham, UK that works with communities and artists to produce fantastic results! Ever since I had the chance to hear the director speak a few years ago in London I’ve had such an incredible crush on the work they do!

As always








Thanks @CraftspaceYouth for sharing your workshop photos with me, and for doing the great work that you do!

Why To Pay Attention, via War Boutique and Carrie Reichardt

Last December when I was at Carrie Reichardt’s (amazing) house* in London, she showed me some of the pieces of work she had by her friend War Boutique. I was amazed at the way he incorporated his knowledge learned from creating “armour systems for the government,” into his art practice using, as he notes in the video below, Kevlar, ballistic nylon, chain mail, stab vests. There’s more about the origin of his work here.

While you should watch the whole video, as it’s brilliant, one thing he says spoke out to me the most, “In today’s society, there’s so much wrong with society, to me, that’s the role of the artist… to try and keep that highlighted and not let it drift away and become yesterday’s news.”

It’s our (whether you call yourself an artist, crafter or maker) role to make sure people pay attention. Our (collective!) role.

War Boutique Artist Profile from Alex Buckley on Vimeo.

And speaking of Carrie, she currently has a show up at Ink’d in Brighton until April 10, which you can read a review of over at Spindle. The show is called Mad in England, a show about which the Ink’d website notes (click text to read more):

UK renegade potter and leading anarchist Carrie Reichardt will be bringing an eccentric twist to all things British at Ink_d Gallery. As we built up towards the media mania of The Royal Wedding Reichardt has decided she just can’t take it anymore – and this show represents the Great British Empire as ‘Cruel Britannia’ through her unique anarchic vision.”

If you can’t get to the show, you can still own a bit of “Mad in England!”I recently received my specially made mug for the Kate n Wills Royal wedding next month in the mail that Carrie created for the occasion. While it does contain a 4-letter word not suitable for the kitchens of some, it looks quite proper sitting on my kitchen shelf.

*Seriously her house is amazing. They did a 4-page spread on it in The Guardian last year. See the original Guardian article here, and complete with photos over here. (And yes, there is a little blurb about Garth Johnson, Craftivist Collective and I down at the bottom of the article. Way to go, eagle eye!

Introducing… Craft Club!

After all the sad news lately, here’s a little bit of cheer to brighten your day. With a bit of help from the Crafts Council and the UK Hand Knitting Association there’s a new UK initiative to teach craft skills to schoolkids.

From their website:

Knit 1 Pass it On is the start-up pilot project promoted by the Crafts Council in partnership with the UK Hand Knitting Association as the first wave of Craft Club.

This is an exciting new initiative to introduce knitting and related yarn crafts into schools and clubs across the UK. Children are encouraged to be resourceful and learn traditional skills, empowering them while also highlighting creative opportunities in the sector, and routes for career progression.

Now puts a smile on your face, doesn’t it? It’s about time, no?

Go Craft Club!


So the 2012 Olympics will be held in London. And there is concern about it ruining parts of Hackney, a shame as Hackney has been on the uptick and it needs help in ways other than what the Olympics can provide. Derelict London offers some pics of the areas in question in Hackney, along with some pretty interesting photos of the non-pretty non-touristy side of London, which most touristy people don’t see. More on this controversy from Hackney locals here and here.

Regardless of that, however, the United Kingdom has run a contest for artists in 9 areas of England (East, East Midlands, London, North East, North West, South East, South West, West Midlands, Yorkshire) 1 in Scotland, 1 in Northern Ireland and 1 in Wales called Artists Taking the Lead.

About from Realm Productions Ltd on Vimeo.

From the Artists Taking the Lead website:
Artists taking the lead is one of the major projects of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad and is being developed by Arts Council England in partnership with London 2012 and the arts councils of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Twelve commissions of up to £500,000 will be awarded to create 12 new works of art across the country; one in each of the nine English regions, and in the nations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The project was launched in March 2009 with a call to artists to submit their big ideas in just 400 words. Over 2,000 artists applied, spanning a huge range of artforms and incorporating some spectacular ideas.

The submissions were judged by panels of artists and producers in each of the nations and regions, to decide the shortlist.

I’m especially excited about the project, Lionheart by “crochetdermy” artist Shauna Richardson. You can see more of her work here and some of her projects here. (For the curious, yes, this is a project related to King Richard I, Richard the Lionheart! You can read more about the connection to him here on the righthand side column of the page.)

East Midlands from Realm Productions Ltd on Vimeo.

All of the projects are brilliant, you can check out the winners plus those who were shortlisted here. For more about Shauna, go check out her lovely website. There is also a post with lots of pics of her over at Crochet Creative.

Thanks for the heads up, Mary via her friend Maggie!

Way to go, crochet!

And completely unrelated, but because I LOVE koalas, and will one day get to pet one and see if they are actually soft, did you know they might be extinct in 30 years? As it may take me 30 years to get to Australia, go learn about how they can be saved, therefore helping them live and me achieve my dream!

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