Salt and pepper, love and marriage… crafts and activism?
The latter isn’t necessarily one of those pairings that naturally spring to mind but ever since I saw the Craftivist Collective’s #imapiece Craftivist Jigsaw Project at People’s History Museum earlier this year it’s something that I’ve been keen to get involved in.
Back in July I did my first post about the Craftivist Collective’s Love Fashion Hate Sweatshops campaign.
And after learning about the appalling conditions some workers have to face on a daily basis I felt compelled to not only write the piece but also get on board and do something crafty.
Once I’d sent off for my pack all I had to do then was come up with something inspirational to stitch on it and get crafting/
The kit came with a few examples, but I wanted to put my own mancunian twist on it.
The explanation behind my piece is explored more fully here, but I used a line from English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Masque of Anarchy which was performed at the Manchester International Festival.
I had hoped to include the line about lions but I decided that without the proper context most people wouldn’t understand what the hell I was talking about, so I just used the latter part: ‘Ye are many they are few.’
First up was writing the letters on the canvas in pencil as a guidance.
Instead of using cross stitch I used back stitch to create clear lettering, I love the way it looks like actual handwriting rather than fancy stitching as it gives it a more personal feel (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)
It really took shape when I sewed it to the pretty backing material – who wouldn’t want to stop and look at it if it was fluttering in the breeze down your local high street?!
I wanted to hang it up in a really high profile area in Manchester and decided that Piccadilly Gardens was the perfect place – it’s always full of people either walking through the square or sitting having their lunch.
It’s also just a stone’s throw away from Market Street, the place were all the high street stores are.
Primark is hugely popular in Manchester so I decided in an attempt to get maximum exposure to hang it up outside there.
Yesterday lunch time I headed down there with a friend and put it up – here I am looking rather happy in Piccadilly Gardens before I hung it up…
… and here I am in action praying I don’t mess the cable ties up!
Here it is in situ!
Just to give you an idea of just how close the gates are to the door…
… and again it is bringing a splash of colour to the otherwise decidedly dull bike stand.
I have no idea whether it will still be there later this week or month – It’ll be nothing short of a miracle if it doesn’t get damaged by a severe downpour in the next few hours or whether someone will think it’s funny or necessary to remove it.
All I do hope is that someone sees it and thinks about the sweatshops and decides then and there to do something about it.
If that happens then I’ll consider it a job well done!
What do you reckon? I know the lettering’s a bit wobbly but it’s the first time I’ve done lettering so I’m just pleased it’s legible.
If you’ve made a mini protest banner please point me in the direction of your blogs or Twitter accounts via a comment below, I’d love to see what other people have come up with.
Have a fab weekend!