From North India to Northfield

The end of March saw the culmination of a three month project that took place across Northfield in South Birmingham. In conjunction with Sampad and Northfield Arts Forum, I was commissioned to run a series of workshops across Northfield, with the aim of creating something that was directly from the local community, and something that could be used and displayed at community events.

The brief was based on Phulkari, a traditional north Indian embroidery technique, and the project North India to Northfield was born! Phulkari is a type of hand stitching that features floral as well as geometric designs, and takes inspiration from the flora and fauna of the local environment. When working with different groups across Northfield, which included an OAP carers group, knitting groups, a children's youth club, eco centre attendees and a women's refuge group among others, as well as drop in sessions at NAF Cafe, the inspiration remained the same; the local environment, the start of spring, and pattern making with different materials and styles.

Each participant of each group contributed at least one or two patches, and each patch has become part of an expertly sewn together quilted hanging (not by me). Techniques included stenciling, applique, block printing, fabric painting and embroidery. As well as working with members of the community to produce a range of textile art, the most wonderful thing was meeting so many wonderful people, who all work hard and contribute to the local area in their own positive and unique way.