‘Social Patches' for Cardiff Fashion Week 2013

Artes Mundi collaborated with The University of South Wales to run a series of activities alongside Cardiff Fashion Week with projects, workshops and talks based on the textile work of Artes Mundi 5 artist Sheela Gowda.

Participants were encouraged to reflect on the themes of Sheela Gowda’s artwork Down Under, using recycled and collected fabrics to create small patches that explored personal, social, political and environmental themes. These patches were then collected and sewn together by Tara Tarapetian, a graduate fashion design student, who assembled a colourful patchwork dress for the finale of the Cardiff Fashion Week, a catwalk show at the Hilton Hotel.

Social Patches hosted a variety workshops and events over its two weeks including

  • a drop in workshop with textile artist Lisa Porch who demonstrated a range of textile techniques,
  • talks including ‘Piecing the Past: The Wrexham Tailor’s Quilt’ by Elen Phillips, Curator of Costume & Textiles at St Fagans, National History Museum
  • ‘Style and Image’ a guided tour lead by Anne Pritchard, Curator of Historic Art, National Museum Cardiff.

Throughout the project Unit 10 displayed a selection of tradition Welsh quilts from The Jen Jones Welsh Quilt Centre, Lampeter.

Over the two weeks Social Patches received a range of people in Unit 10, including families, students, sewing and textiles enthusiasts, and individuals attracted to the colourful quilts and activities inside.

“A lovely way to meet people and talk about textiles, see all the different ways people make their patches.”

“It has been such a delight to be part of such an inspirational project which has crossed all boundaries of age, culture and gender, and united people through conversation and stitch.”

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