Stroud Valleys Artspace, May 2008
Museum in the Park, January 2010
Inspired by the local textile heritage of the Stroud valleys area, Make Do & Mend focused on the themes of weavers and weaving, woollen mills, the use of the Stroud Scarlet cloth for military uniforms, women working in industry during wartime, and the ethos of ‘make do and mend’. These thematic threads are brought together by the seven artists into a unified world of images and ideas which the audience was encouraged to explore.
Visitors were invited to enter an Alice in Wonderland-like rabbit hole world of ‘eat me, drink me’ instructions; of objects out of scale and out of place; of looms and pulleys, fragments and whispers; of animated dummies and mechanical garments; of warp and weft weaving and unravelling across a textile landscape. In this world, visitors rediscovered their grandmothers’ needlebooks, long forgotten knitting nancies, and the invitations to stitch and weave their secrets into an ever-changing cloth.
Following a successful outing at SVA for the textile Festival, Studio Seven was invited to re-mount the project in January 2010 at the Museum in Park, Stroud. Elements were displayed at Studio Seven shop at New Brewery Arts in March 2010, and the individual members created saleable items inspired from the project’s themes.