18 Feb #imapiece of the Week featuring Sarah Tarmaster AKA @NorthWestNosh
Name: Sarah Tarmaster aka North West Nosh
Location: Manchester, UK
Craft of choice: That varies (I have itchy fingers, which need keeping busy…) – it usually centres on sewing or painting (lots of embroidery and quilting this year), but I’ve just taught myself to knit, so currently I’m a bit obsessed with that.
Who are you and what do you do? I work for an environmental charity, designing and setting up growing spaces in deprived schools. I run growing and cooking sessions with pupils and I train the teachers in basic horticulture, cook and taste, and outdoor learning, so they can bring growing/cooking/outdoor learning in to their school’s every day teaching.
How do you get into craft? My mum always encouraged me to craft when I was younger and my aunt is an art teacher, so I was always encouraged to express myself and experiment. My mum used to have this big, old cupboard that she would ram full with any scraps, papers, pens – anything she came across really – and we were just allowed to use everything in there in any way our imagination wanted (bar writing on the wallpaper, that is!)
As I got in to my 20s, crafting fell a little to the wayside as I didn’t always have the time to commit to it. However, my mum gave me a sewing machine in my mid-20s and since then I haven’t looked back. I constantly like to challenge myself and learn new forms of crafting. I’m also part of the WI Manchester craft group, which is a great place to make new friends and become inspired to take up new projects.
Why did you decide to get involved in the Jigsaw project? Sarah from Craftivist Collective presented at the Manchester WI and I was immediately inspired. When I was younger, I got in to the street sticker scene – making political stickers and sticking them all over Manchester – but as I grew older I left this behind as fanciful student idealism. Listening to Sarah made me realise that there is room for activism in my life and that instead of using stickers (which, let’s be honest, are very inconvenient for the whoever owns the thing I have stuck them on), I can use something that I am passionate about and enjoy doing, to comment on the world around me.
What have you stitched on your piece and why? I have stitched ‘Feed the child, feed the future.’ I took inspiration from the children I work with. The more you give children – whether that’s love, education, inspirational experiences, healthy food choices etc – the more they respond and grow positively. If we ‘feed’ them properly, they will grow up leading positive, happy lives. I want the Government to realise that cutting services/education and blaming deprived communities for their own situations, starves our future generations. The Government needs to be far more long sighted in their planning, rather than just delivering quick election wins and sound bites for the Daily Mail.
What do you love about craftivism? It allows me to express myself without having to have the confidence to get up in front of lots of people (which I don’t have). Plus it’s an aesthetic approach that catches people’s eyes and encourages them to engage with activism in their own way. Sometimes the quieter the revolution, the louder it is heard.