Cromer Street O-Furoshiki Stitching Group

Project Fukushima! Film still by Hikaru Fujii (2011)

On Saturday 1 July we invite members of the King’s Cross and wider city neighbourhood to come together and join us for an afternoon of communal patchwork cloth stitching, and reflection on the forces that damage, divide and unite our urban communites. Tea and biscuits will be provided.

 
The process of making and mending within a communal context can often serve as a unifying, healing force in the aftermath of a disaster or trauma. This workshop, the first of two planned stitching sessions, takes place in the context of the exhibition Real Lives Half Lives: Fukushima.
 
‘O-Furoshiki’ is a traditional type of Japanese wrapping cloth created for the annual festival 'Fukushima!', as featured in the film Project Fukushima! Pieces of fabric, donated by people from all over Japan, are sewn together to create a patchwork cover for floors and surfaces affected by radiation. At each festival location, volunteers work together to stitch and cover the floor of each venue with the patchwork cloth. They measure radiation levels to ensure it is safe to carry out the festival. 
 
Taking Fukushima as starting point, how can we develop a creative language that supports and sustains a post-disaster or displaced community? Can our experience and collective will to overcome ecological difficulty be made manifest through stitching? In this respect, can art transcend function?
 
The second stitching workshop, taking place on 15 July, will culminate in a celebration that will see the cloth being unfolded in Cromer Street and its surrounding areas, engaging neighbours and passers-by in communal conversation. More information on the celebration can be found here.
 
Workshop dates:
1 July, 2-5pm
15 July, 2-5pm
 
Workshops are free and open to all. These two initial sessions are the testing ground for a potential series of future meetings and events at Arts Catalyst and in the Kings Cross area that will explore issues of displacement and migration through the practice of weaving and stitching. 
 
If you are interested in participating or require further information please email anna.santomauro@artscatalyst.org