Weaving Wool – A Community Craft Project
Artist Katie Gander is working in collaboration with the general public and volunteers from Agecraft and Sustainable Sussex to make a large-scale mixed media and textile piece.
Working alongside Liane from Sustainable Sussex, Katie will facilitate collaborative workshops at Sompting Community Farm and other venues from June – August 2022. Using the wool from sheep at the farm, workshops will be offered free of charge to share skills in shearing, washing, carding, dying and spinning. Some of these techniques enable participation in the creative journey. The wool will then be collaboratively woven, knitted, stitched and felted in different ways to make a large-scale artwork. Including a giant weaving frame.
Some of the art work made will be displayed at an outside creative space at the farm. Other parts of the work created will be incorporated into a larger piece and expanded on by the artist Katie who has been working as a community shepherd with Sustainable Sussex since November 2021.
The theme of the artworks created will be ‘Reconnecting Communities’ As the Covid Pandemic starts to settle down and group activities are once again possible there is an opportunity to find new and innovative ways of collaborating and connecting creatively. By using the wool from the sheep and discovering its versatility participants can reflect on how things have changed for them over the last couple of years and express their responses through contributing to the art work.
Agecraft has recently been constituted as a Community Interest Company and is well established as a community organisation that has run intergenerational projects in Lancing and Sompting since 2015. Agecraft was commissioned by the Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust in 2019 to deliver a community engagement project for the EPIC river restoration scheme in Sompting, this included working creatively with local schools and the elderly to explore the farming heritage of the area and encourage local participation with the creation of the Sompting Brooks Nature Trail, this is now finished and open to the public. Katie is the project manager for Agecraft and an artist who completed an MA in Inclusive Arts Practice at the University of Brighton in 2019.
Sustainable Sussex is a registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO no. 1182997). Sustainable Sussex supports people who find accessing the workplace difficult, this includes people with mental health difficulties, learning disabilities and those in long-term unemployment. They provide welcoming spaces, diverse experience and education, and community connections to help people grow and share their skills, knowledge and passion. Their projects include Sussex Chilli Farm where volunteers are responsible for sowing seeds, all the way, to selling high quality value-added products at markets and fairs. Sustainable Sussex is currently working in partnership with Sompting Estate to create Sompting Community Farm, Nature Trail and Orchard. Activities are varied to attract a wide range of people and include food growing and cooking, animal care and management, nature and wildlife conservation, meditation and well-being activities, crafts and building opportunities.
Launch event – Friday June 3 // 13.30 – 16.00 // Fen Farm, Test Road, Sompting, BN15 0EW