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Our projects are designed to foster needed conversations that connect services and those who need or are likely to need them – and maybe even occasionally directly achieve social change for a community. Items created in our projects are generally available for exhibition and occasionally, rental, to spread the messages of our work and raise further funds to support it. Visit the page for each project for details of recent or upcoming exhibitions, related events, or products.
“The Softer Side of Regeneration”: aka the Pillow Project
“The Softer Side of Regeneration” was a project to respond to and work with a latent seething frustration in our neighbourhood as the local council touted regeneration investment. Lots of road resurfacing was apparent just as people began to feel area council budget cuts in services personally. We made these pillows to spell and hang protest messages around our neighbourhood, whilst facilitating conversations about what people wished for our area and community.
Every year Significant Seams leads a community quilt project. So far these have explored a theme over three years, examining a question from a range of perspectives. The first series explored the concept of Neighbourliness – and got neighbours talking, then collaborating (and sometimes sewing for the first time), and learning together about local history. The second Series – with two quilts thus far complete – has examined the role of women in society. A series of notecards and Notebooks are now available in relation to this project.
As we imagined redeveloping 131 Wood Street into the vibrant hub it is now, we decided the age-old motif of a wishing well was feeling rather appropriate. Sculpture artist Harriet Hammell agreed to help us, and led us in creating this now, a little-bit-iconic soft sculpture with a patchwork roof by Catherine, our founder. It sits at the centre of our recurrent friendly challenge – “What do You Wish for our Community?” In fact, it and this question sits at the center of what we now call the Garden of Aspirations.
There is raindrop bunting, with people’s wishes. We encourage people to be bold and articulate what they want. Alone it may feel like a drop in the bucket, but together the droplets add up to sea – change.
There is the tree of all seasons, woven together, adorned with apples, snowflakes, and colourful bird’s nests depending on the season. There is also an archway of flowers from the materials we too often discard, reminding us of the beauty we can create around us, from the simplest materials and positive intentions.
The Giant’s Garden: aka The Poppy Project
An arts commission commemorating WWI is currently engaging 70,000+ people in conversations about mental health awareness, the changing roles of women, and the importance of individual voice, as direct outcomes of WWI that we believe may be underappreciated and resonate with contemporary concerns, especially in vulnerable communities. We are engaging school children, users of mental health services, resettling populations and other residents in our Borough in the making of poppies in symbolic colours over 70 events, leading to a series of spectacles, in real time and across social media. Currently kits are available in association with this project.
The Trolley Project
How does food reflect the cultural diversity and connectedness of a neighbourhood? Artist Sheila Hallissey worked with children from Barclay and Sybourn Academies in Waltham Forest and our Saturday Craft Club. Together they wove a response from plastic food packaging into a Shopping Trolley. Significant Seams volunteers and adult workshop participants, inspired by the children, also sculpted food items to help fill the Trolley, and shared favourite recipes on the inside of paper and card food packaging. The completed installation is planned to be on semi-permanent display at Sybourn Academy from autumn 2015, and will be the subject of a forthcoming line of products.