Published 04.09.2023
by Kids’ Own

Youth Advisory Group – Creative Session Three!

Kids’ Own Youth Advisory Group (YAG) session three took place on August 12th, with our YAG members, writer Sarah O’Keefe and our associate artist Francesca Hutchinson.

Sarah said of the session ” We were delighted to be joined by our associate Artist Francesca, who introduced us to the world of weaving! This session offered participants a balance of working independently and collaboratively to create a woven piece of art. Our session began with a discussion about what makes us unique as individuals. We participated in an activity involving a long piece of yarn, where we would hold different sections of the yarn that would be applicable to our personal likes. The result was a beautiful web, revealing that even though we may be different, we are all connected. Participants then had an opportunity to sew their own symbol of choice to a table length piece of fabric. The symbols ranged from shamrocks, waves, puppies, and letters, to popular logos in a variety of colors and textures. One observation that was shared was that the front of the fabric looked much better than the back, but what goes on behind the scenes can also be beautiful depending on our perspective. We also laughed about sharing the one large piece of fabric, one simple move can pull the entire piece off the table, resulting in very creative and fun sewing techniques!”

Young people's hands doing embroidery on beige linen

Francesca added “This workshop explored the theme of identity through textile art, more specifically through using the materials; cotton thread and a delicate cotton material called muslin. This workshop allowed the participants to translate parts of their identity through the craft of sewing, through conversations that emerged the YAG participant’s began to decipher uniqueness’ and similarities’ within their identities. Understanding the diverse uniqueness and similarities in the room was supported by our first activity wherein a ball of cotton thread was passed around, the young people shared something about their identity and if there was anything that related to someone else’s identity they also took a piece of thread. Once everyone got an opportunity to speak, a beautiful web had emerged, this was a visual representation of the young people’s individual identities and the shared similarities of everyone’s identities within the room.

The second part of this workshop invited all participants to collaboratively sew into a delicate piece of unbleached muslin cotton. The participants had the freedom to choose what to sew, some depicted their names; represented shapes and symbolic imagery that translated aspects of their identity, while others found different processes for mark making including punching holes into the fabric using the needle! The thread acted as a visual representation of each young person’s identity, the careful act of sewing into the fabric leaving behind a trace of oneself.

It was a privilege to work with these young people and be witness to such honest conversations, and openness to what it means to be you authentically!”

Stay tuned for our next update on our Youth Advisory Group and read about past sessions here: