DASH PROCESSIONS Workshop 1 - Guest blog by Anne Marie Lagram
I couldn't have wished for a better group of women to get us started who were happy to give their thoughts and opinions relating to not only the project but to the bigger picture of women in Shropshire today. They were also great about being decisive regarding ideas of how the banner should look and be constructed.
It was decided that the banner will be split into three sections in view of the project being taken to three different locations.
Section one-A central panel will be produced at The Hive which will incorporate the Shropshire Hills, a larger circular sun/moon and the words – WE ARE HERE- incorporated into the design. One of the areas of discussion was about the fact Shropshire is still an unknown place to the rest of the country and the women of the county are also unknown. When we looked at historic banners the majority stated where they were from and so a statement firmly placing us was decided as our strong statement. It was also decide that the words Shropshire Women would be put on the outer border. The materials for that central panel will be a base of felt because of its strong colours and ease to use (no fraying) but that we would work into these felt sections with needle felting, stitching and 'podging'. The names of important Shropshire women will be part of the design as a close up detail.
Section Two – will be an outer border to the central panel and will frame the central image. This will be made by the group meeting at Quatt. Some ideas of what this may look like were mooted and the idea that maybe a series of individual pieces of a patchwork might be a good construction method. But it was decided that it was important that the group that shows up at Quatt would be best placed to determine this. I would like to have the same/continued conversations with this group in the same way as I had at the first meet up at The Hive.
Section Three– will be the main border and tabs that hold the banner on to poles and additional pieces. This will be done at a drop in session at participate and as an 'outreach' part of the project. We know some people want to be involved but can't get to the sessions and so we thought this was a good way of enabling everyone to have their voice heard. We are going to invite people to make a strip of fabric that states their geographic location and to also add a word/words that express something about being a woman in Shropshire today. The completed strips of fabric need to be approximately 10inches/26cms in length and 3 ½ inches/9cms in width. We will then add these strips either as a fringe at the bottom of our banner (we were inspired by our Morris Troop The Shropshire Bedlams costumes) or made into links to form a fabric chain that unifies all the women of Shropshire.
The construction of the components of the banner will take place on Tuesday June 5th at The Hive and we hope as many people as possible will come and join in.
We also formed a face book group called Shropshire Subversive Stitchers (the subversive stitchers bit came from a comment relating to the banners and procession one hundred years ago) Already we have lots of people being actively involved in researching Shropshire women, posting about the suffrage/suffragettes and putting how they feel being involved in the project as well as saying something about being a woman. Please do join the group an become involved in the conversation.