Scattered and gathered

stitched shibori

In February I took part in an Instagram challenge – #fabricrecipes – 28 days with a different theme every day, and the theme for day 20 was ‘gather’. I chose shibori in the end, but I also thought a lot about ‘gathering’ in the sense of curating, collecting or assembling.

gathered woven squares

I’d already been considering how an exploration of my life-long (and challenging) experience of being scattered (scatteredness?) could be a valid theme for my textile practice. Now I begin to think about how I can celebrate and nurture my scatteredness with some gentle gathering. And I ponder other resonant uses of the words ‘scattering’ and ‘gathering’, like scattering seed and harvesting, and how gathering and scattering are a paradox if they happen at the same time. I think about how gathering, in lots of senses that I’ve yet to explore, might be a way to scaffold scatteredness; how I need a paradigm or a framework and how frameworks can be open in structure, like a grid or a trellis. Or like weaving. And I’ve wanted for a while to start blogging again regularly. So here I am.

As I explore how to gather my thoughts and ideas and processes to create more consistently and develop my voice as an artist maker, I’ve joined an exciting research-based community, Ruth Singer’s Maker Membership. I’ll use this blog partly as a digital research diary, and for anything else in my making life that wants to be gathered in.

#fabricrecipes is run by Jayne Emerson

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