This is Musarat Raza - the textile artist I am working with to inspire a multi-cultural group from Parkside Community Centre in Bradford about the moors. Today we ran a silk painting and batik workshop at Parkside - using these techniques to explore how to represent the moorland landscapes we saw (and felt and smelt and heard) last week. It was strike day, so all the participants children were off school - so they all came along too which was great. Everyone - after initial apprehension - got stuck in, and everyone produced several textile 'paintings' that represented their feelings about the moors. It was grrrreat to see them all get so absorbed in the task, and Musarat and I had a go too. Here are pic's of Wazika, Dennis (a surprise addition today to what I thought was just a women's group!), Brenda, then one of the kids, busy with their pieces. And then some shots of the work produced in just 2 hours!
Musarat will carry on working with the group over the next fortnight to help them finish off their pieces and get them ready to display in the foyer area of the Watershed exhibition at Cliffe Castle.
Sadly, partly because of breaking my ankle earlier this year, but mainly cos of being pulled onto loads of other Watershed projects, I shan't be able to work with the Parkside group any further. But it was ace to see them experiencing the full blast of the watershed's winds last week, and get sooooo engrossed in their artworks today. I am really looking forward to seeing their finished pieces up in the exhibition - go for it gals (and Dennis!).
It was great to see the Watershed exhibition at Cliffe Castle again yesterday - and to work with it and a fresh group of 'victims'! This was a multi-cultural group of Bradford women who I (and Musarat Raza - an excellent textile artist) then took up onto Rombald's Moor to experience the icy blast of moor wind, the smell of dying heather and sloppy peat, the feel of barbed wire and moss, and the singing songs that the wind made through the huge wireless towers up there - quite magical! Musarat and I will be working with the ladies in Bradford next week to help them respresent their feelings about the moors in writing and textiles. (Only one of them had ever been up on the moors before, and, although it was blooming freeeeeezing, they seemed to really enjoy it! There were women from Pakistan, Algeria, Germany, a Nigerian baby, a Kurdish woman, as well as white British women from Bradford - thanks to you all for withstanding that awful wind!)
It's fab to get the copies of my watershed collection of writing into my hot little hands! Do come to the launch at 1pm on Saturday 3rd December inside the Watershed exhibition at the gorgeous Cliffe Castle Museum. It's a free event, and I'll be performing from the collection, talking about my residency, and answering any questions - and you get to check out the whole Watershed exhibition too! All for FREE!
Char March - I'm a freelance writer and tutor. I am Writer-in-Residence for the Pennine Watershed Project, and this blog takes you through some of the work I've done in that role