This week was the week that I ran my workshop. I found it quite difficult leading the workshop, as I am not naturally someone who is able to stand up and talk to a group of people. By the end I was more comfortable talking to everyone as I settled in to the workshop. My favourite part of the workshop by far was the making portion when were in the project room. I loved seeing everyone make in their intuitive ways and it was rewarding to see everyone’s process and allowing them to discover parts of themselves and their practises whilst they worked. I also really liked the printing of the words and how they looked when they were hung on the project room wall. We found that making a larger amount of smaller words on the paper was easier to react to then one large word.
If I were to run another workshop, I would try and be more confident and try and spark conversations between my classmates more, as I felt that the most rich part of the workshop was the conversation we had at the end that tied up the work we had been doing and bought the workshop full circle.
This week I sewed all my tapestry pieces together and I started by experimenting with how they would be sewn together, as I know how to sew, but I wouldn’t say I was the best seamstress in the world. Below is a time-lapse of me sewing the first two pieces of fabric together. I wanted to sew the first pieces in private so that I could experiment and find out which stitch would be the best to use on these pieces of fabric. I found that flipping over the pieces of fabric and sewing the two seams of the sides together was the best method to sew the tapestry together.
I made a lot of mistakes along the way whilst making my tapestry, I sewed the pieces to my duvet cover, I sewed pieces upside down, I sewed pieces to the wrong side and I sewed pieces face up instead of face down. Although these mistakes slowed down the process of making, it lengthened the reflection process, which was the point of this this whole project: to finally find some solace within my own thoughts and to create a routine that I felt safe in.
After figuring out how to sew the pieces together, I was ready to take my tapestry to the seafront to sit and sew there to simulate my performance for the project proposal form. I felt so uncomfortable at first sitting on the seafront, as I often feel self-conscious on the Prom anyway. There weren’t many people around, but I still felt like the few that were around were looking at me (especially as we were taking pictures as well). No one spoke to me on the seafront like how I think people would come up and speak to me in my hypothetical performance at the Triennial. I only stayed in the shelter for around an hour, but I felt proud of myself nonetheless for not running from a situation the made me uncomfortable.
Looking back to the start of my project and even to last year, I don’t think I would have been brave enough to sit there and sew. I definitely would not willingly have put myself in a situation where there was someone taking photographs of me doing a performance in public. This may not seem like a lot to some people, but I am happy that I pushed myself out of comfort zone and it felt rewarding by the end. I specifically wore my mom’s old coat for this performance as I wanted to bring the symbolism of her to my performance. I remember wearing her coat all the way back in week three and it was emotional for me to go out and make whilst I was wearing her coat. It helped me feel protected for this performance.
Once I had sewed my piece together on the seafront I stepped out from the shelter onto the Promenade with part of tapestry. This felt symbolic of me emerging one last time for this project to show everyone what I had been making.
I think if I were to actually carry out my hypothetical exhibition at the Triennial, This performance would have to be something that I would do in six months or even a years time. I think that I would need to refine my technique and I don’t think I am ready yet to have the conversations of loss with that many people at once. At the moment I would only be able to do maybe an hour or two’s worth of performance rather than six to seven hours that I think it would take for me to sew the whole of my tapestry together.
Because of this, the sewing in reality became a time that was mostly reflective and hidden, rather than the activity of sewing being for sharing and discussion. It became extremely rewarding to sew as I saw the whole piece slowly emerge by my hand. I felt a real connection to the whole piece by the end, I felt comforted by the piece; it reminded me of the memories of my mom and the relaxing and rewarding time that I had sewing the pieces together.