March so far – Women’s International Day, Three Lines and 28 Drawings Later

Well, it’s been a jam packed fortnight, and now it’s Tuesday, two weeks since I arrived in Scotland for two months of creative output, and indeed a lot of input too.

Three Lines

We’ve had some great feedback about our improvisation piece Three Lines, with musician Jer Reid, dancer Monica de Ioanni and myself.  This is what the festival organisers had to say about our ‘World Premier’ on Saturday 3rd March at the experimental sound/music festival ‘Sound Thought’.

‘Just dropping you a quick line to say thank you again on behalf of The Arches, Glasgow Uni and the Sound Thought Committee for presenting Three Lines as part of the festival. It was such a beautiful piece and the projection looked amazing in the Studio.’

We’re waiting on some footage of our performance by the marvellous Benoit Moulanier, but for now you can see some gorgeous photos courtesy of the rather talented Greg Neate.

Three Lines copyright Greg Neate (c) 03032012

Three Lines ii copyright Greg Neate (c) 03032012

Here is also the video created by Mettje Hunneman of the piece we performed at Video Lab, in Edinburgh 4 days later.

28 Drawings Later - Victoria announces

I was also part of the 28 Drawings Later project which was a fantastic initiative by artist Victoria Evans inspired by the NaNoWriMo writing project, but takes place in February – hence the 28 Days element, and is specifically for drawing. Growing from about 500 followers to 1500 in the space of a month, and yes, there was an extra day this year 🙂  I would thoroughly recommend getting involved in it next February as it’s a great kick starter to the year as well as being a booster for your confidence and drawing skills. The expo Victoria put on of all the prints of drawings posted through to her, was very well organised and very well attended – a lot of buzz in the various arts grapevines.

Then there was International Women’s Day, the 101st celebration.

Garterstitch 100 was an initiative started by two hugely talented and inspiring young ladies, Jetson and Jansson, who put on one epic day of 100 events in one venue – the Tramway in Glasgow.  Since it was a significant date being the 100th anniversary, and since they had also discovered that 100 million women have been noted missing due to extreme gender discrimination since records have begun, they decided to illustrate this in the most incredibly gentle and powerfully affecting way – they tried to get 100 million stitches of knitting.

They didn’t quite get all that amount – around 26 million at final count, but they did get more than they could ever have imagined and hoped for via knitting posted from around the world, locally and internationally, from men and women young and old.  Not to mention all the overwhelming individual stories, photos and letters of support, as well as all the dancers, artists, musicians, actors, writers, members of public, etc etc who provided some sort of inspirational talk, event, installation, dance, song, sharing, colour, crafting, drawing, art, knitting and more – This was ‘loop’.

Last Thursday, the ‘loop’ officially closed with the 101st International Women’s Day Garterstitch event after four glorious arts filled days throughout the year to celebrate, commemorate, empower and inspire women – and everybody else! – with so very many taking part in some beautiful, helpful, and monumental little way.  Much thanks and praise should go to Catherine Barthram who gladly and expertly took the torch and accompanying responsibility from Jetson and Jansson at their last Garterstitch organised event back in September. Jansson was present at last week, and Jetson who couldn’t make it due to being in a touring theatrical production was greatly missed, though present in every colourful stitch of knitting present in the blankets and woollen bits and pieces present in the space.

Garterstitch 100 chose 5 different national and international women’s charities to support – Apne Ap, CareFawcett Society, GWL, The Women’s Support Group raising money from all the events, and all the knitting donated which were made into blankets and sold at other various craft fairs courtesy of the Garterstitch team. It looks like we’re very very near the £5000 mark if not WELL passed it, so that will be a joyful slice for each charity towards their wonderful work.

It’s been absolutely incredible being a part of it all, and has been almost unfathomable in how many folk it has inspired and brought together in so many wonderful ways, myself included.  I have made an awesome new bunch of friends who inspire me more and more every day, and I’m a better and more creative person because of it.  See what you can get involved with that can enhance this ever growing caring and creative community, share and be inspired yourself.

For now, I’m chilling at my folks after a very full and enjoyable fortnight with their dog MacDuff and Conan the cat.  Next week I shall be on an exciting residency with the simply quite fabulous playwright/writer Lynda Radley creating something with her words and my drawings. See 360 Narratives for more info on the project and the other teams/partnerships involved. Breath is bated!!

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