Threads and Yarns
Jo Morrison, Digital Projects Director at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, introduces a special interactive textiles exhibit celebrating the Wellcome Trust’s 75th anniversary.
When we were first asked to develop a project for the Trust’s anniversary, I thought this would be a chance to do something unusual. But I would never have imagined I would end up learning how to solder in a basement workshop at Queen Mary University of London!
‘Threads and Yarns’ is part of the Trust’s 75th Anniversary public engagement programme and focuses on personal accounts of health and well-being over the past 75 years.
Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design is leading the project, and we are currently in the process of making an interactive artwork as part of the Threads and Yarns exhibition. As such, some of our textile design students are working with postgraduate students from Queen Mary’s G.Hack group to create the interactive aspects of the 5×1 metre piece.
The artwork’s design is inspired by the floor tiling at the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum, and has a clinical-craft aesthetic. Of the 125 individually made material flowers, nine will be interactive – hence the soldering – but I won’t spoil the surprise by saying any more. As well as the exhibition, Threads and Yarns includes three presentations and three hands-on crafting workshops led by CSM staff.
This project, which has seen senior citizens from the Euston and Camden area working with CSM’s students to share personal stories of health and well-being, has proven to be really special and captured the imagination of so many people who have been involved. About 200 people have contributed to Threads and Yarns, and we are looking forward to the event when the project will be shared more widely.
Jo Morrison, Digital Projects Director, Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design