Combining my textile design and community work skills, I work with groups to make celebration banners, quilts, hangings and even voting boxes! I create and design banners that celebrate the diversity of individuals in a group. This involves having each individual create their own artwork which I then piece together in a way that creates a coherent and beautiful piece to celebrate the group as a whole.  Banners can be used to celebrate existing groups and their achievements – such as a Silver Jubilee – or can be a means of bringing strangers together at the start of the group process.  They can be simple affairs, designed to last for a short time, or site specific hangings designed to last.

I have selected the examples below to showcase the types of project I have been involved with.

IAS meeting box: This project celebrated a new start for a group that had effectively fizzled out.  The IAS forum group are people with learning disabilities supported by the charity IAS. Their role is to discuss matters that concern them and the organisation, and for them to have a major impact on company policy.  Making the box was an informal shared activity that brought together people who had not previously met.  We drew around our hands onto fabric and then decorated them in our own way, while talking about the purpose of the meetings. Not only does everyone have ownership of the finished box but it has become the symbol of this particular meeting, differentiating it from other meetings they attend.

Scrawl on the Wall: This was a project with Salford Volunteer Centre to create a wall hanging celebrating volunteering in Salford.  Local people came together over three events to share their experiences of volunteering and to create their own brick for the volunteering wall.  The finished “Wall” was 7 metres long and went on display at Salford Museum and other locations in Salford, and is now used as a backdrop at various volunteering events.

DIY Theatre Company: Using textiles to celebrate the success of their Arts Awards training project for young people in Manchester schools, we printed fabrics for hangings and cushions to create rooms for exhibition and consultation at this showcase event.  The hangings reflect their own experiences and those of the groups they worked with. The cushions and table cloth reflect the schools they visited and the transport they used.

The Eccles Cake Quilt: this was commissioned by Salford City Council to celebrate the Eccles Cake at a Shop Local event.  Local children designed their own textile “currants” which I then made into a quilt to be displayed in Eccles Community Art Gallery and eventually in the restored Old Town Hall.

If you would like to commission me to design, facilitate or make your celebration piece, please contact me  at info@clairehignett.co.uk

In addition to “Celebration”, my community activities also include “Learning”, “Facilitation” and “Nana Knitwit’s Knit and Natter”.