This month, the Common Threads Collective (CTC) delivered their first workshop associated with their Public Energy residency. Text as a Design Element in Garment and Costume Design was a two-part workshop that took place between Dec 10th and 17th and was delivered by CTC artist Leslie Menagh. Participants included NCC clients, CTC members, and members of the general public.
During the first workshop (delivered online via Zoom), the group was first asked to generate ideas for text that would be screen printed onto cloth for use later in the second workshop (delivered in-person and with COVID-19 safety measures in place at The Theatre On King). Asked to consider their own personal narratives through the lens of “belonging”, participants generously offered stories about departures and arrivals, physical growth and change, familial relationships, and the anxieties and joys inherent in each of these things.
Honing in on the bodily associations people could make with their memories, participants were then tasked with the construction of a piece of wearable art that would connect their stories to their bodies. They each created a 13×19” design that featured some of their personal text, which was printed onto cloth. The cloth was then either incorporated into repurposed garments or sculpted into an art piece of its own.
The workshop culminated in a group critique that provided each participant with an opportunity to hear from the others; to receive feedback, and the encouragement to forge ahead with plans for more. The process of doing this work together was thoughtful, open-hearted, and kind. And although our life experiences are so varied, the discussions and artworks shared were thematically, remarkably, universally relatable. The workshop gave us all the time it takes to hear and be present with one another, and to cultivate an opportunity to create.
At a time when we crave it the most, the Common Threads Collective is undertaking a series of workshops that keep us in conversation; that keep us connected and grounded. The series will inform their future larger work, Land(ing), coming in 2021.
This piece was written by CTC member Leslie Menagh.
Workshops were documented by CTC member Shahed Khaito.
CTC is pleased to announce the next workshop as part of the project: Storytelling through Textile.
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