I LOVE THIS for “sew” many reasons.
The romantic charm of a garden swathed in bunting is never pictured with plastic union jacks. The adorable bunting made by Wood Street area kids this week and last in the first of our free Jubilympic bunting workshops is so very different from the grim realities of a sweatshop. I think part of why I love this Banksy image so much is that you can see the earnestness of childhood in the child’s posture. You can feel he feels he’s doing something celebratory and important. And Yet you wonder, why is he barefoot? Why is he on his knees? Alone? Why a pound land? Oh – right. He’s unlikely to be at the party. He’s earnest, but he’s not proud.
Yesterday I witnessed a beautiful pride in a very small boy who carried his (glittery) bunting to show some adults. This evening the gleam in a mothers eye as she admired her daughters first Union Jack bunting triangle was anything but meaningless.
What are we celebrating again? The Queen? Athletes? Globalisation? I know official endorsement comes for some official reason of what we are supposed to support for some reason of the other. But I believe and seize the positive possibilities of the moment. You know I – and Significant Seams – are about ensuring meaningfulness – so maybe you expect a level of criticism of the bunting, ala Banksy.
I think there is much to criticise, but there is much opportunity to re-appropriate meaning, and to make our own meaning. I sincerely hope that most of us are celebrating our neighbours and neighbourhood. I hope we are a seizing a collective moment reclaimed from the system and prevailing order, and making our own meaning. I hope we use our street parties and celebrations to express something different. I hope we are getting to know neighbours that we didn’t, learning new skills and hobbies we enjoy, revealing parts of ourselves deemed ‘unprofessional’ to a swathe of people with whom we can laugh freely.
I hope we are teaching our children that a bit of work – for a party, for a neighbour, for our neighbourhood, doesn’t have to be drudgery, or exploitative. It can be fun and worthwhile. Having fun as we produce something, rather than buying something to have fun, is a different way of being, but a way of being that can be hugely fulfilling, individually and collectively.
Significant Seams are able to provide free participation for Wood Street Ward residents in a whole series of bunting making workshops courtesy of the Wood Street Ward forum. We will hang onto to the bunting for the Ward so it available to the community for a range of events. These sessions are Wednesday and Thursdays from 4-5, and we have one Saturday session, this weekend at 11:30. We welcome people not from Wood Street, but we do need to ask non- Wood Street Ward residents for contributions.
We have also heavily discounted private bookings that are for bunting making for the month of May, We hope you will join us if you need help learning – or just want to come along for fun. A group of Lloyd Park area residents (aka William Morris Ward) are booking a private session with Significant Seams and a few spots are left if you want to join them. The Knitters of our weekly group (Thursdays 2-4, £3) have prepared a bunting pattern and offered to help anyone who wants to make knitted bunting. Their sample strand is hanging in The Hub now.
We’ve also begun a basket of bunting triangles to be strung together later – if you already sew, or you commute, or can’t make the times we’re offering – you can leave your triangle to be included in strands to be assembled during our workshops.
You also can be part through donations of scrap fabric (i.e. old t-shirts, blankets, etc) We have a decent range of blue – especially through donated denims – but we’re particularly short on red. The red, white and blue bag is for donated fabric, so feel free to be part by contributing to that supply too!
Or, like some of the residents of chapel end host your own party – we have a range of supplies from bunting binding to Jubil-rific ribbon to help get you ready.
Sorry if I’ve been too wordy. Just look at Banksy’s latest piece again, and remember:
Make your street parties meaningful, and the process as fun as the day. Make Memories. Make your own Bunting!