Sunday, 12 April 2009

A Little Piece of Mind

square above by Stella McCartney, bottom edge by Giles Deacon

I was recently involved in this amazing charity project; 'a little piece of mind' pulls together the minds of 86 creatives in the form of 6" squares of fabric, each one individually designed or chosen by the contributor.

Artist julie floersch who put together the quilt talks about the process of the quilt's formation -

"incorporating all the different colours and images into one piece was like solving a puzzle. I began by organising colour combinations surrounding certains squares that could not be interrupted. The unending repetition that I create in my patterns allows each little world to interact with another creating all sorts of different colour combinations and experiences. The denim and the Liberty fabrics run throughout the entire quilt, acting as a mediator where the worlds intersect."
Mark Noe of Marque Creative:


For a few years now, we have been tracking the infiltration - often very positive - of modern techniques into craft forms. Quiltmaking is one area that has been at the forefront of this with young designers such as julie floersch exploring, pushing and redefining the language of the medium. While these designers are forward thinking, a traditional and historic aspect still remains through the use of natural materials and an insistence on age-old hand craft.

Although this exciting tendency is widely acknowledged, no one it seems has been prepared to champion this within the creative industries or on a worldwide, collaborative level. So this idea became an important challenge for us; to take, and then piece together, seemingly disparate influences and inputs to make a coherent, influential output. As an aesthetic philosophy, this has engaged both us and our creative collaborators.

square above - elvis robertson, left edge - Rachel Speed, top edge - Hussein Chalayan, right edge - Jo Wood

The premis was simple.
Leading creatives were asked to supply 'a little piece of mind' in the form of a 6 inch square of fabric. From a diverse array of such contributions by iconos and innovators, floersch has composed a quilt that reinforces the fact that all it takes to make a big difference is a little personal time.

We then decided to channel both of these two start points towards a more provocative or powerful cause.

Over the past 10 years, the crisis in homelessness has been worsening - almost unrecognised - despite the amazing efforts of organisations such as Shelter across the UK and the Bowery Mission in NYC.
This is a global issue - by 2010, one half of the world's population will be living in urban areas. A lot of the people unable to cope with this process will be dislocated and displaced. The problem will also be exacerbated, in the more developed countries, because two of the most chronic consequences of the curent economic crisis will be savagely deteriorating housing and employment markets.

top square above - fred butler

Generally, all of us should accept that we, our friends and our colleagues, live a relatively privileged life. A 'little piece of mind' implies only making a small creative contribution. This can be effectively converted into funds and then into action. However, 'a little piece of mind?' provokes a question about whether we could do more."

- Mark Noe, marque creative

Hussein Chalayan:
"I contributed a selection of printed fabric. My reason for participating in the project was based on the feeling that all of us working in the creative industries live charmed lives. ALPOM gave me the opportunity to offer support to a worthy project attracting attention to a problem that is not glamorous or sexy. I was especially shocked to read recently that the number of homeless women and children in the UK has risen 80% in the last five years, in a developed society in the 21st century this is totaly unacceptable."

Rupert Sanderson:
"I contributed an interesting swatch of leather from the archive in my factory. It combines photography and leather-making - two of my passions. With regards to the whole 'a little piece of mind' project, I think quilting is a highly emotive way of bringing attention to the plight of disadvantaged and marginalised people."

square above - Temperley, bottom edge - Kate Moss, top edge - Richard Nicoll
"A patchwork of emerald green chiffon with saphire blue and silver flower detail bead work, adding texture and 3D interest to the patch with vibrant uplifting colours."

My own square (detail above) was a simple image of a moth, embroidered using hair. I chose this image because of the irritation a moth causes me as a quilter.. the fear it strikes in me when I find them in the summer near my precious collection of fabrics. They make their homes in cupboards and eat into my treasured cloths. I'm lucky to have the luxury of this trivial problem. I make exclusive items, including bedding, for beautiful environments. Beautiful, safe, cosy, warm and dry homes. Those without homes might encounter the same irritating moths, eating through their not-so exquisite bedding. Piles of old bedding that we see in doorways from one day to the next. Moths don't eat hair, so I chose to represent them with that.

It's a small connection, literally the first thing that went through my mind, so it was 'a little piece of (my) mind'.

links below for charities, organisers, press coverage and julie floersch
the bowery mission
marque creative
vogue online
julie floersch - work
julie floersch - blog