Participatory textile project - The next step belong to us -
Cheng long village April 11th – May 6th and October 25th – November 7th
My idea for Cheng Long International Environmental Art Project focused on the use of recycled textile to create valuable products that could express the character and history of Cheng Long Village.
Working towards the opening of the first community market in November 2019, I wanted to share with the villagers new textile techniques to enable them to create their own products and acquire more confidence in their abilities.
During the first week we collected and selected wasted textiles and turned them into yarn ready to be used.
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We made our looms for tapestry weaving out of scrap wood and painte them with sea colours.
During the first session of making I shared simple weaving techniques where the recycled textiles were used freely to enhance creativity and create different patterns while learning basic weaving techniques.
During the second, the third part of the project and the more advanced weaving sessions a more regular kind of threads has been used in order to obtain a clearer pattern. This thread was rescued from woolen sweater or woolen clothes.
The spirit of Cheng Long was translated with the use of local materials and thanks to the creation of a recognizable pattern/logo developed from one of the local children's drawings. This pattern created a visual identity for the village, becoming recognizable.
The children were involved in the weaving process and in the preparation of the material.
Weaving is a good way to enhance participation among different age groups and children and older members of the community could work together, helping each other with the weaving process.
Together with a small group of children, during evening session we also created small soft animals out of their drawing.
At the end of the residency we had different woven pieces that have been displayed together as a single artwork in the community kitchen. They created a narration of the process and progresses of every participant. The walls of the community kitchen have been decorated together with the school children to bring art even closer to every member of the village.
The project has seen the collaboration of volunteers, children and people from all ages.
My goal was that of make people feel at ease and happy to participate, becoming designer and creator.
From my previous experiences working with community projects, I know that every time is different and I need to be ready to change my mind and find new solutions to involve people. This can be challenging but also interesting because the final products will be coming out of a specific process in which the dynamics of the group is shown. Materials and concepts are there to be shaped around the needs of the participants to get the best result possible out of everyone ability, willingness to be involved, creativity, moods, thoughts…