Thread Bearing Witness

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Migration is the defining issue of our time. How each individual, group, industry and family choose to respond to this subject will shape the foundations of our future communities.

Artist Alice Kettle is embarking on an ambitious new arts project, seeking to connect concerned communities and individuals across the UK, inviting them to get stitching, showing solidarity and raising funds for displaced people around the world.

Simultaneously, Alice is working on a local level to connect personally with individual women and children refugees and asylum seekers, asking them to work with her to contribute to and inform new monumental stitched artworks. These artworks are inspired by the strength, resilience, and hospitality of refugees and asylum seekers whom she and her family have worked with.

The Digital Women’s Archive North CIC (DWAN) is linking to the project the Travelling Heritage Bureau which will address both the need to ensure the participation of women artists in contributing to arts archives, and the additional complexities of displacement for undertaking arts archive development.

Textiles offers a powerful medium through which to explore themes of cultural heritage, journeys and displacement. Embroidery is a domestic practice representing home-making, it is steeped in the history of trade routes with its global connections to production and pattern. The exhibition will use thread to examine the interconnected social world we live in.

The project is launched with the ten-year anniversary Threads exhibition at Winchester Discovery Centre, which celebrates Alice’s signature public art work, Looking Forwards to the Past, on 28th October 2017. The fully realised exhibition will take place at the Whitworth Art Gallery Manchester in September 2018.

Alice Kettle will donate half of the profits from artwork sales to charities supporting displaced people.

Thread Bearing Witness includes a number of strands – follow the links to learn more about different aspects of the project and how you can get involved.