Craftivism and Community

giant female puppet
Becky Reeve

From personal reflections to community collaborations, between 11 - 19 Mar Norfolk Makers Festival will be showcasing crafts that will speak to everyone. Make sure that you don't miss these events and exhibitions taking place in Norwich, which demonstrate the art of craftivism.

Grief and protest expressed in a gigantic textile project. This memorial quilt project was created by the 'artivist' Tuesday Greenidge, whose daughter escaped from the tower fire. Tuesday and her sewing team will be at the Festival, working on new sections and anyone is welcome to join them and add their own work to the quilt. You will also have an opportunity to find out more at the free 'meet the artist' talk.

Pockets in women’s clothing were once considered ill-advised. Who knew what seditious material they could be hiding? The Dangerous Pockets exhibition, part of 2023's Festival, is a community collaboration and a robust response to this interesting theory! The artist, Paula, will also be giving a short talk and taking you around the exhibition, to tell the stories behind some of the artworks.

This eye catching quilt was put together by the Sew Gay group of creatives, bringing together members of the LGBTQ+ community in Norwich and Norfolk, to document and commemorate some of the key events in their history in textile. Come and join members of the Sew Gay group for some sewing, stitching and conversation.

A display by, probably, our youngest artists so far. Children from Nelson Infants School, in Norwich, have created puppets inspired by the story of Little Amal.

While you're here, take a seat with the team from New Routes, hold out your hand and have a chat while they give you a free taster of Henna body art!

Exploring the personal stories that are woven into textiles, the Norwich Castle Museum has created a digital community patchwork, made up of stories of joy, grief, creativity, and so much more. This digital quilt is being shown, for the first time, in The Forum's Gallery, during the Makers Festival.

Each March, as part of Norfolk Makers Festival, we are delighted to curate and present a unique exhibition of original textile work, created by local artists, responding to a specific theme. For 2023 the artists selected responded to the theme Bold Perspectives.

The Dementia Darnings is an intensely personal and moving exhibition of stitched portraits, depicting the artist's mother at different stages of her life, from childhood to her death. You can also join us for lunchtime talk and Q&A with textile artist Jenni Dutton, or a discussion with Prof Mioshi who will discuss changes in the brain that explain different types of dementia.

Caroline Aldridge's son died in 2014. Tim was struggling with mental illness. Caroline has stitched her way through bereavement, creating quilts and textile arts to express her feelings and regulate her emotions.

Join the stitching and crafting team from Norfolk Sands who know how difficult it can be to deal with loss and grief, and how therapeutic creative activity can be. Norfolk Sands is the county branch of Sands, the UK's leading pregnancy and baby loss charity.

Ann Jones, also known as 'Granny Plastic' online, creates artwork from plastic found on Norfolk beaches. It's a sad testimony to the crisis facing our oceans, that the waste plastic 'scarf' she is knitting is now the length of two football pitches. Meet Granny Plastic, and add a few rows to this disconcerting and thought-provoking piece of environmental craftivism.

There's always so much to discover about the wildlife of Norfolk and how you can do your bit to offer assistance and protection. Nature is facing many challenges and you can do your bit. The RSPB is one of Europe’s biggest nature charities, engaged in conservation, advocacy, and public education.

ReDo Norfolk saves half a ton of textiles from landfill every month, and has plenty of examples of clothes and items created from wardrobe clear outs! Find out how to extend the life of your wardrobe, make a bag from a tee-shirt, learn Japanese mending and rag rug making.

This series brings together some of the most compelling curators, writers and academics working at the forefront of craft scholarship today.

From the colonial legacy of the cotton industry to the political embroidery of Mary Queen of Scots, these lectures will move, inspire and enrich anyone interested in the captivating history of the needle and thread.