COLLABORATION & COMMUNICATION IN THE COVID ERA
This work is part of an MA Textiles Contemporary Dialogues project on wellbeing. The inspiration for this work came from a personal need for connection to others during the Covid pandemic and to acknowledge the difference in individual hopes and aspirations for the future.
Passers-by to a local community garden were anonymously invited to contribute their wishes for 2021 on the ‘Tree of Hope’ by way of handwritten luggage tags. These were gathered and silk flags similar to the prayer flags left at Shinto Shrines in Japan were produced using the photographic of cyanotype. Within the process of making the flags, it was deemed important not only to use the text from the tags but, to incorporate the handwriting of each contributor.
The decision to use natural sunlight for the exposure had a dual purpose. Not only did this add to the potential variations in colour and contrast with brighter sunlight producing deeper shades of blue, but it also tied into the larger framework of wellbeing where the effects of natural sunlight have been shown to be beneficial in lifting the mood. It was intended that the participation of writing responses and the outcome created positivity and was also therapeutic in this uncertain time, both personally and for the wider community of people who contributed and read the tags.
This project has resulted in a greater personal connection with the community than before the pandemic and it must be noted that without their participation this work would not have been possible.