My work illustrates the recognisable landmarks in Manchester’s public spaces. As my project is about raising awareness of homelessness and addressing Manchester’s homeless problem, I organised a month-long hand embroidery workshop with Cornerstone Day Centre in the hope of gathering inspiration for my project. Exchanging my skill sets combines my specialist area in embroidery alongside working with vulnerable adults. It was important to gain participants’ trust and I did not want to ‘take’ from them. Therefore, proposing a workshop and teaching them hand embroidery in exchange for their input on my project seemed fair. As it was my objective to gather different options addressing Manchester’s homeless problem.
As in the start of the project, I illustrated the visual images of the homeless on the street and it lost the sense of narrative within my work, after working with vulnerable adults at Cornerstone Day Centre, that I realised they used art workshops to create light-hearted artworks and it gives them a more positive attitude throughout. What is special about this work is that it also illustrates the lively side of Manchester’s homeless community. This acts as a reminder to all of us that we all share the same city.
This caused a change in my project: to focus on the positive side of Manchester and gained relevant to support my illustrations. Another change was moving these illustrations from the canvas to a wall hanging style, then I created a series of embroidery illustrations of Manchester which were embellished onto shirts. As I experimented with different types of garments, I found this series of clothing illustrates my best works.
As well as beautiful images, using garments is also my way of suggesting that donating unwanted clothing to homeless charities is a way many people can help with this issue.