“As a teacher of Textiles the craftivism projects are a really good way of introducing social issues to my pupils, without being all ‘preachy’” Karen Rowe

Alex-me-at-Wofson

26 Feb “As a teacher of Textiles the craftivism projects are a really good way of introducing social issues to my pupils, without being all ‘preachy’” Karen Rowe

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“My Craftivism” is a series: We’re always excited to hear about & spotlight craftivism projects that fellow craftivistas are involved in. It can really inspire us, challenge us and hopefully get us all thinking about what is effective craftivism. In this series we hope to offer a platform to craftivists to show and speak about their latest craftivism activities & their approach to craftivism (which may be different to ours). If you would like to share your own craftivism piece or event with us please do email us at Craftivist.Collective@gmail.com for more info :)  

 

Name: Karen Rowe

Location: Oxfordshire

Craftivism of choice: Stitched Textiles mini projects

Jamie Chalmers aka‘Mr X Stitch’ came to talk to the Oxford  Embroiderers Guild. He spoke about Save The Children’s ‘Race Against Hunger’ and the Craftivist Collective’s #imapiece as well as his love for contemporary craft and I was away!! I made my Jigsaw piece and used it as a starting point at school.

 

Karen's jigsaw piece for our #imapiece Craftivist Jigsaw project

Karen’s jigsaw piece for our #imapiece Craftivist Jigsaw project

 

I thought #I’m a piece was a brilliant way to introduce the ‘Race Against Hunger’ to everyone at the school where I teach. Staff and pupils (aged 4-18) eventually created almost 40 jigsaw pieces in total. We had our own mini installation of photocopied pieces (the originals were posted). Nicola Blackwood, our local MP came into school to collect a jigsaw piece printed with a photo of all the pieces we had made.

 

a collection of the fabric jigsaw pieces made by teachers and publics to add to the installation

a collection of the fabric jigsaw pieces made by teachers and publics to add to the installation

 

MP Nicola Blackwood at OLA holding a handmade craftivist jigsaw piece

MP Nicola Blackwood at OLA holding a handmade craftivist jigsaw piece

 

The next thing I knew I was in Hyde Park at the Big IF!

 

To keep the profile up and keep the campaign going, a stitching friend, Alex, and I decided to try and get the Jigsaw installation to exhibit in Oxford.  Alex, who works at Wolfson College ( a post-grad college at Oxford Uni), arranged for exhibition space there and we have about 300 pieces on display until 31st January. We have both been energised by the whole idea of using stitching to get across important ideas.

 

approx 300 of the 800 jigsaw pieces made from craftsers around the UK displayed in Wolfson College, Oxford

approx 300 of the 800 jigsaw pieces made from craftsers around the UK displayed in Wolfson College, Oxford

 

Unique way of displaying our jigsaws at Wolfson Collge- I love this design don't you?

Unique way of displaying our jigsaws at Wolfson Collge- I love this design don’t you?

 

We had a ‘private view’ on Sunday 26th where instead of wine and canapés we served water, bread and cheese! (Alex’s brainwave) The whole 300 pieces will be moved to my school for the beginning of February. We hope to involve the local press too.

 

Wolfson College craftivist jigsaw display

Wolfson College craftivist jigsaw display

 

Wolfson College craftivist jigsaw display

Wolfson College craftivist jigsaw display

 

Alex (left) and Karen Rowe on duty at the private view

Alex (left) and Karen Rowe on duty at the private view

 

Visitor comments - Encouraging comments from the viewing public!

Visitor comments – Encouraging comments from the viewing public!

Stitching, is what keeps me sane. I always have too many projects on the go. At the moment I am creating a buxom mermaid to go in an exhibition called ‘Beside The Seaside’ at the Creative Stitches, Fashion and Embroidery Show at the ExCel in April.  My ‘footprint’ is planned in my head. As a teacher of Textiles the craftivism projects are a really good way of introducing social issues to my pupils, without being all ‘preachy’. They like to know what I am stitching, and why, and so we can discuss all sorts of issues in an informal way. There is always something new and important to think about.

Next stop? Alex and I hope to organise a craftivist event here in Oxfordshire, and we are optimistic about getting one or two more venues for the Jigsaw pieces. Watch this space!

 

Craftivist Collective is a social enterprise that relies on your support. If you enjoyed this blog post, please comment, share or visit our shop :) Plus if you would like to write for us do email Craftivist DOT Collective AT Gmail DOT Com 

 

2 Comments
  • Karen
    Posted at 08:24h, 28 February Reply

    The Jigsaw installation is now on display at school. We have 400 pupils who have the opportunity to browse the exhibition , plus lots of their parents coming in for parents evenings and an open morning next week. The exhibition will be open to the public for two weeks after that. I am really pleased with the exposure we have been able to give to this work.

  • Are we making a difference? Let's look back on 2014 and see :s x | Craftivist Collective
    Posted at 12:44h, 30 December Reply

    […] Our #imapiece exhibition is still touring around the UK & being well used. Teacher Karen Rowe hired some of our #imapiece jigsaw pieces to exhibit in Wolfson College, Oxfordshire to inspire the students & teachers to be part of the change they wish to see in the world. The feedback was brilliant with comments such as “so many beautiful images we should all be taking note of”, “waht a fresh and wonderful idea”, “very thought provoking indeed”, “A lovely group effect” and “an inspiring exhibition, thank you” where amongst comments from students and staff. “As a teacher of Textiles the craftivism projects are a really good way of introducing social issues to my pupils, without being all ‘preachy’” said Karen. Hear more from Karen about her use of #imapiece exhibition in the blog she wrote for our “My Craftivism” series here.  […]

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