Thursday, 6 February 2014

Patching for Cardiff (17/10/13)

It is the run up to Cardiff Fashion Week and although it hasn’t officially begun yet there are many things happening already for people to get stuck into. 10 Morgan Arcade has inhabited an amazing project that is open to the Cardiff public to get people sewing and socialising and creating an all-round feel good environment, and I thought I would pop down and find out what it’s all about.

The Artes Mundi project, which is collaborating with CFW, has created a social space for people to come and create their own patches, all of the patches donated will then be transformed by the talented designer Tara Tarapetian, into a magnificent finale piece for the Fashion Week catwalk show. All materials within the space are provided to make a patch but people can be inspired to bring their own materials, one student created her patch by using her father’s handkerchief. Materials are all donated locally to create sustainable designs and create a community feel.

Social Patches was all inspired by one artist, Sheila Gowda, and her Down Under exhibition of quilted cushions. Each cushion represents different social and political aspects of India and raise quite heavy issues. There are images from the exhibition and insightful information on the inspirational Sheila Gowda in 10 Morgan Arcade as well as other beautiful quilts on display.

This is definitely a social space, as soon as I walked in people were laughing and nattering and I immediately felt comfortable and inspired. Speaking with Melissa Hinkin the organiser of the space and project, she informed me that the idea of Social Patches is ‘to mimic the social activity of quilting within a workspace, which will then create a patchwork scrapbook’. People are encourage to create a personal patch which can represent them or something they believe in, taking a look at the patches that have created the dress so far there really is a mix of personalities and messages.

Speaking with Melissa she described the dress to become a ‘reflection of the colourful landscape of people who make up Cardiff’ and will become a fantastic personal piece with such a variety of personal thoughts and messages. I was so inspired that I decided to create a patch myself to add my own message to the design.

Social Patches is also holding a selection of interesting events, head down this weekend to refine your sewing skills with textile artist Lisa Porch who will be holding an all day workshop. Make sure you attend the inspirational talk from Elen Phillips on Wednesday 16th October who will be talking through the fascinating story of James Williams and the ‘Wrexham Tailor’s Quilt’, and a not to miss event at the National Museum on the 25th October with the curator of fine art, Anne Pritchard who will be describing the interpretations of fashion within art and how the legacy has influenced fashion.

So if you are going to do anything this week make sure you pop into 10 Morgan Arcade to refine your sewing skills and partake in wonderful conversation with a wonderful eclectic mix of people.

Jade Atkinson

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