Fields of EveryWhen is commissioned by

What is our idea?

To create an abstract map of a social landscape

We are creating an artwork which evolves in collaboration with the Thamesmead community over a two year period during which time it is regularly exhibited in several different locations. At the end of the two years the work will be ‘complete’ and remain as a time capsule of cultural life in Thamesmead for future generations. The artwork consists of two parts, stories converted into embroidery and a sculptural hot air balloon displaying those embroideries. Both elements have a legacy which remains long after the 2 year project. 

The artwork uses textile drawings to tell the stories of local people; rather like the Bayeux Tapestry records a period of time pictorially. The balloon is a celebration of social and cultural interaction and recognises local people who define the identity of their community; it floats above, and mirrors, the social landscape and acknowledges the  global roots of the people of Thamesmead.  

Why G-FOEW?

Fields of EveryWhen’ takes the historic form of a hot air balloon because this was the first method used to look back down at the inhabited landscape. This will be created and ‘decorated’ with the outcomes of community engagement and flown on specific occasions as a tethered artwork unique to Thamesmead. It is designed as a performance rather than to carry passengers.

‘G-‘ is the registration letter for British aircraft and ‘FOEW’ is the acronym for the project title Fields of EveryWhen. This is why our sculptural aircraft is called G-FOEW.

Each textile element tells a story and represents a field in the landscape of Thamesmead as it first  appeared when the land was drained and cultivated by the monks of the nearby Abbey. This is an overlaying of modern stories and memories onto the ancient landscape; a new map depicting the community.

BELOW ARE SOME IMAGES OF HOW THE BALLOON MAY LOOK!

In addition to flying the balloon, we intend to inflate it on the ground on its side so that people can walk into it. Note how the design is equally visible on the inside. The embroidery can be photographed with the light shining through. Selfie heaven!
Designing the ‘gores’ of the balloon using artwork from Chloe and Livia


What is the legacy of ‘Fields of EveryWhen’?

The legacy takes many forms and, most significantly, is the ongoing conversation about the aspirations of the Thamesmead community. This is reflected in the physical outcomes of the project as follows:

  1. The balloon exists as an artwork which can be exhibited in a number of ways at milestone moments in the development of the wider plan for Thamesmead.
  2. The artworks created by participants (which will take the form of sketches, embroidery, stitched illustration and painting) will be complied in two forms: One as a ‘weighty tome’ (tome is used to refer to a book that is not only really large but also unusually important) and secondly as an exhibition.
  3. Community engagement over the two year duration results in an ‘An Abstract Map of a Social Landscape’ which highlights locations of personal significance. This map merges individuals stories with businesses, clubs, public spaces and historic landmarks. It will be presented as an artwork forming part of the exhibition.
Detail from the Bayeux Tapestry which uses similar embroidery techniques to those taught in the tutorials on this site.