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In October I’ll be starting a yearlong residency with Bank Street Arts in Sheffield. It’s going to be a cross-stitch based project in two parts: I’ll be creating a large scale cross-stitch myself based on the mythical Ancient Greek Moirai (or three Fates), and I’ll be inviting people to send in their own interpretation of a cross-stitch pattern designed by me, resulting in an exhibition at Bank Street Arts at the end of the residency.

I’ve had the idea for a long time of making work based on the thread of life. In Greek Myth, the Moirai are three women who decide each person’s lifespan by spinning, allotting and cutting their thread of life. This idea lends itself perfectly to a sewing project.

For the work that I am going to produce myself, I plan to expand upon a previous piece of work I made, entitled Labyrinth. I want to work on the biggest cross-stitch I have ever attempted, designing a pattern based on the Moirai. I intend for it to be hung from the ceiling, and it will have long, hanging threads which reach to the floor.

The most exciting part of the project, for me, will be the work sent in by other participants. The idea of the thread of life seems to relate directly to the idea of DNA, and so I have designed a simple cross-stitch pattern based on a strand of DNA. I would like participants to use my pattern, stitched onto 14 count Aida of any colour, and interpret it in their own way. This could mean picking their own colours, or even changing the materials that they stitch with completely. They may wish to adapt the pattern, or embellish it in some way. The point is that every piece should be unique to that person, just as our DNA makes us unique. The finished pieces will then form an exhibition.
As part of the residency I really want to get in touch with cross-stitchers around the country and hopefully get out and about teaching cross-stitch workshops. If anyone has a venue that they I could use to host a workshop please get in touch. I provide all materials for a beginners cross-stitch workshop. I’d also be happy to come and work with established sewing groups if anyone would like me to.

So there’s lots to work on. The first thing I intend to do is set up a crowd funding scheme to raise the money needed for the project. Of course, this means that people who contribute will receive rewards in return for their donations, ranging from a copy of the project pattern, to an original handmade cross-stitch piece by me.

If you’re interested in getting involved in any way, or if you would like to receive a copy of the cross-stitch pattern when it is released, please email me at [email protected] Please give the emails the title of BSA RESIDENCY.

Labyrinth. Cotton on Aida. 2012