A Community Commission

South Charlton is a beautiful village in Northumberland, surrounded by farmland. I have been invited to work on a new community project there.

The WhichCraft group want to create some textile panels to decorate the entrance of their Village Hall

WhichCraft is a group of women, meeting twice a month to get creative. They have various skills and interests that we can tap into for this project.

I went to meet them at one of their sessions (fortunately before the #beastfromtheeast arrived! A bit further up the A1 this happened!)

Their Village Hall,once the school, is a well loved and well used community hub. They have received some funding to improve facilities and this includes a budget for art.

At the meeting I took along samples of my previous work with community groups and we discussed what might be possible- luckily they liked what they saw!

We got on to discussing the theme for the project and measuring up the spaces we might use.

The area is rich with wildlife and beautiful scenery so as we chatted I made notes listing the flora, fauna and local landmarks.

Ideas soon started whizzing about, with enough subject matter for a dozen artworks!

We agreed on 3 possible panels, using seasonal changes as the theme to enable inclusion of as many of the local treasures as possible.

I will go back to help the group dye fabric to use in the project in April. This will be carefully managed as there’s no mains water or drainage so I will be using my repurposed cat litter trays again (don’t worry they’re clean!) and all rinsing will be done back in my studio.

In the meantime I’ll be developing compositions for the panels based on the landscape and finding ways to include as much of the local flora and fauna as possible.

So I’ll be recording project progress over the coming weeks and months. Let me know what you think!

Published by Donna Cheshire Textiles

I am a professional textile artist specializing in Appliqué and Free Motion machine stitching. In order to create a unique colour palette, I hand dye my own fabrics and then use these to create the landscapes and coastal scenes recorded in my sketchbook. I often incorporate recycled or vintage fabrics in my work - they add meaning to the story the work is telling. I love being so close to the Northumbrian coast and countryside and I especially like taking time walk and draw these stunning landscapes

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