I think it's pretty cool that the village I live in has a train station but then, every summer, it goes super-chilled with it's own music and arts festival...
This year I realised a long-held idea for a community art project at the festival that, tying in with the theme of the Festival this year, I called "The Big Ocean Weave",
The concept was simple - build a really big loom and invite festival-goers to weave a line or 2 with me so that, together, we would create an artwork that would be a lasting representation of the event and a positive statement about community, sustainability and resource-sharing.
My woodworking skills being minimal, I appealed for anyone in the village who could build me a loom and I'm so grateful that Ian volunteered despite not really understanding what he was volunteering to build! I showed him a home-made recycled picture frame loom of the type I use in workshops and a smaller commercial tapestry loom and asked him to make "something really big like this". He didn't disappoint - it was a great big loom! It was built using recycled wood, some from my garage, some from Ian's and a wooden pallet from a mate. And it was in 3 parts, set at different heights to be accessible to all.
Next job was to think about warp and weft. I had linen in my stash that would be suitable for warp but for weft I was going to need a LOT of fabric. I had some but again I appealed to the local community - did anyone have any large pieces of fabric, old curtains, bedding or similar fabrics that they would be willing to donate, preferably in ocean colours but I could dye fabrics so I was open to all offers? In just a week, my living room looked like a fabric shop and I had to prep it all for weaving! And so, every evening, whilst watching tv, I cut fabric, cutting it into strips, joining them together....
I watched a lot of Newsnight.....
The following is a gallery of photos from the weekend weaving. It really was a joy to see so many people involved with the weave:
At the end of the festival, I took each of the 3 weavings off their loom panels and finished them very simply, squaring them off and tidying up any loose ends but deliberately not adding or taking away from any them. And so the finished pieces looked like as follows. I don't yet know where they will hang but I hope they will find a space in the village soon where they stay as a celebration of community and a memory of one beautiful weekend in our long hot summer of 2018.