Sarah Lawton

The seduction of print and textile processes and how they can be adapted to facilitate learning, trigger the imagination and improve the health of vulnerable individuals, preoccupies my work. Themes emerge through connections with other artists, craftspeople in UK and artisans internationally, but are consistently underpinned by collaboration and cognitive responses to the ‘making process.’ My work and the projects I have been involved in can be viewed on www.sharingthemaking.co.uk.

The idea of “flow” (Csikszentmihalyi, 1991) and skill acquisition informs the work. Disparate disciplines are drawn on, through research and practice, to identify key engagement methods that question society’s established value systems. The work connects the ‘overlooked and vulnerable’ intimately through the development and implementation of an artisanal ‘tool-kits.’ Workshop prototypes engage community groups with hand processes and project are developed through dialogue with artisans, artists and designers.

When working with and establishing new group projects participants ‘signature strengths’ are stimulated, nurtured and engaged. I record individual and group engagement through rigorous hand drawing. Blurring the boundaries between observer and participant, drawing becomes my personal record and a tool for dialogue. My future work aims to build on knowledge exchange between the UK and India.

A research project I designed whilst on residency in India, during 2012-2013 was to embellish the men’s ‘Khadi-bandi’ with block print and embroidery, bringing together artisans inter-connected through the product. I intend to develop the project further through participatory workshops, which invite members to carve a woodblock for printing onto cloth and paper, using relief and etching facilities. I plan to observe how diverse groups adapt the garment according to their personal narratives. The ‘bandi’ is traditionally made from Khadi cloth, which is ethically made and hand-spun, for independence, in India’s villages. The cloth I will use is made in Gujarat, the state I resided, for the duration of my trip.

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www.sharingthemaking.co.uk