This week I took a trip to The People’s History Museum in Manchester to look at their collection of protest banners and textiles which have been used throughout the past century to put across a powerful message.
Many banners throughout time have been made collectively by those who share a common goal such as the women’s resistance, workers rights or LGBT rights.
Banners pass on a strong message and there are colours and imagery which are commonly used to portray a message, for example a dove for peace, a wheat sheif for prosperity or shaking hands for unity.
Applique is one of the most common techniques used in banner making. This is the process of applying cut fabric shapes to a fabric backing.
Could similar textiles methods be used within my own product? I would like to use recognised iconography to pass on a message and encourage people join together in a common goal. Banners are often used in protests as they are visual, memorable and quickly pass on a message. In a similar way I feel textile design and needle craft can be used in a domestic setting to visually represent a families history.
Within my own work I am aiming to create a piece which can stand as a reminder of past generations and the new skills they learn, which can become part of their heritage.
The People’s History museum run a regular group crafting project called ‘The Fabric Of Protest’ where they invite members of the public to come along and create their own piece reflecting their own opinions and issues important to them. These events are intended to be both social and educational “Taking inspiration from the museum’s collection, participants will work collaboratively to produce pieces of artwork rich in personal responses and exploration. Being at the centre of textile production in Manchester historically, we will collect personal stories, learn about the conditions for workers, and compare the industry from past to present with global textile production and zero hours contracts.” (Eventbrite: 2017) Within my own work I would like to bring people together in a shared and cultural setting.
Eventbrite (2017) The Fabric of Protest by People’s History Museum. [Online] [Date Accessed March 18th 2017] https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-fabric-of-protest-tickets-30221434123
All photographs taken by me at the People’s History Museum in Manchester 09/03/17