“Craftivism brings people together and gives us purpose”
Craftivists #wellMAKING Garden demonstrates public’s desire for meaningful activity
More than 750 knitted, crocheted and stitched flowers made an eye-catching focal point at our Craftivists #wellMAKING Garden exhibition on Tuesday 27th January 2015, the culmination of a six month project that saw over 50 stitch-ins held across the UK.
With over 750 handmade flowers, our garden wooden drawers were overflowing Photos by JonathanCherry.net
With the World Health Organisation including “contributing to society” as one of their paths to wellbeing, organisers encouraged people to think about how they could be the best version of themselves in order to make the world a better place.
Feedback gathered via a dedicated app and at events around the country was overwhelmingly positive (see blogs from event organisers here), with participants reporting numerous benefits from their craftivism experience:
“This project has helped me to engage other people in crafting and with activism. It’s helpful to have a ‘thing’ to do whilst you talk. It gives you reflection time.”
“Creating gave me confidence to make change in myself and society around me.”
“Crafting encourages me not to buy cheaply made sweatshop clothes because I value the time and effort that workers have put in more than the low prices charged for some fashion goods.”
“Before this project I didn’t think about how crafting contributes to society. Now I realise the many different levels that it can impact on and how we communicate with each other through craft. Crafting, art and making can break down social barriers.”
“While I was making the flower I thought a lot about the connection between flowers or plants and human development. We’ll only realise our potential if we are in the right soil type.”
Throughout the day and evening people where rummaging through the flowers, some searching for their contributions Photos by JonathanCherry.net
The evening ended with a group discussion where many of those gathered expressed an interest in seeing the project continue. A number of events have already been planned, which will see the floral installation tour the UK, as well as groups creating their own versions.
Each craft table had a garden bucket full of quotes from participants across the UK all explaining how they had used craft for critical thinking on the theme of wellbeing.
Organiser Sarah Corbett, founder of Craftivist Collective, said: “Craftivism brings people together and gives us purpose. We’ve had all sorts of people involved, young, old, male, female, bloggers, crafters, activists, NGOs, galleries, community groups. It shows that people really want craft with meaning and purpose. They love craft, but they also love to use craft as a tool to reflect critically on how they can contribute to making the world a better place. People took up the project in their own way but still with that ethos of critical thinking. It will be exciting, now that people have the tools, to see how they continue to grow and develop what we’ve started.”
You can download a high resolution poster of this manifesto at our Flickr album “Wellmaking Craftivist Garden:
Notes for editors & bloggers:
Founded in 2009, Craftivist Collective brings together craft and activism in order to make a difference to individuals and society, exposing and tackling issues of local and global poverty and injustice through provocative, non-violent creative actions. You can find out more at www.craftivist-collective.com.