OCA Textiles 3 Sustaining My Practice

Part 4- Continuing Creative Development for the Exhibition

Assignment 4 Review- Completion of Project Work

Screenprinting and Handstitching Processes

Gillian Morris Student No. 511388

Gillian Morris (2021) Detail from “I can see a future I want to be in” Mental Health Recovery- A Visual Account of Emotional repair 195cm x 300cm Screen-Printed Vintage Linen Bedsheet using intuitive emotional relating with the materials. Various greys, black, sugarplum pink, and pomegranate printing inks used on vintage dyed grey linen which explored reduced emotional arousal through hand stitching for repair.

The textural qualities of the vintage linen exuded strength, resilience, robustness and wear in process which suited and matched the narrative, the story telling of personal journeys from mental despair and desolation to recovery and renewed coping, to highlight the need for acceptance of mental ill-health and the need for formal and informal support to aid mental health. Through this visual retelling an increased focus was on  communicating this process of recovery, of triumph over adversity, of managing to quieten the fear, emotional pain and hyperarousal towards the enhanced capacity to self-soothe and self-calm, to be with self without negative rumination and anxious anticipation, to experience more acceptance, acknowledgement and letting go free from judgement and criticism.

This series for mental health recovery- A visual account of emotional repair conceptualised mental recovery through repair using screen printing and hand stitching . Such creative processes forged the way forward for an identified and preferred way of relating and responding to/with dyed and screenprinted vintage linen bedsheets in process, to best communicate my emotional responses to and with this sense of mental health recovery and repair through hand sewing. I continued to integrate hand stitching with the full-sized double bedsheets, to the surface of the dyed vintage linen which was not intended to embellish for its own sake for decorative purposes in isolation but rather to illustrate different types of experiencing and different emotional states of distress and repair, from splitting and rupturing to mending, strengthening and recovery, to consolidate and increase resilience through traditional sewing stitches. With such experiencing drawn from the emotional engagement within therapy processes such a felt sense has been used to create and relate using hand screen printing with hand sewing and stitching processes. Indeed through such research processes concerning sewing and the related sampling processes I was struck by the history and meaning of women’s work and art, of the actual then increasingly inferred connotations of domesticity and women’s work from within the home setting which often included their sewing. Through the years women’s contributions have often been seen through the negative gender stereotyped lens of their domestic role and expectations, which could be seen as inferior, of less value and worth compared to paid employment and bread winner status. That said this often encapsulated women and their work being considerably devalued with an overall under-estimation of their importance especially involving their hand sewing as it was so often small scale, hidden from view, and out of sight.   In considering this I have been conscious of the need to be big, brave, bold to be seen to communicate what I need to be felt and heard. Of the need to convey what is so often not spoken about… of the value of women’s work alongside the value of mental health and wellbeing. From such understandings of gender and work, of continuing disparity involving women and their work, of working more for less there was a need to work in a much larger scale for mental health to have equal regard with physical health as there is no health without mental health. Through broadcasting this narrative through my creative process, of being listened to through the use of very large scale work inequality cannot be so easily ignored and overlooked. 

Video clip of hand sewing and stitching for repair, of maintaining the same scale of repair as previously undertaken to respect and acknowledge to value, to understand and to incorporate to shore up resilience
Video clip of hand sewing and stitching for repair, of maintaining the same scale of repair as previously undertaken to respect and acknowledge to value, to understand and to incorporate to shore up resilience
Video clip of hand sewing and stitching for repair, of maintaining the same scale of repair as previously undertaken to respect and acknowledge to value, to understand and to incorporate to shore up resilience
Video clip of hand sewing and stitching for repair, of maintaining the same scale of repair as previously undertaken to respect and acknowledge to value, to understand and to incorporate to shore up resilience
Video clip of hand sewing and stitching for repair, of maintaining the same scale of repair as previously undertaken to respect and acknowledge to value, to understand and to incorporate to shore up resilience
Video clip of hand sewing and stitching for repair, of maintaining the same scale of repair as previously undertaken to respect and acknowledge to value, to understand and to incorporate to shore up resilience
Video clip of hand sewing and stitching for repair, of maintaining the same scale of repair as previously undertaken to respect and acknowledge to value, to understand and to incorporate to shore up resilience
Video clip of hand sewing and stitching for repair, of maintaining the same scale of repair as previously undertaken to respect and acknowledge to value, to understand and to incorporate to shore up resilience
Video clip of hand sewing and stitching for repair, of maintaining the same scale of repair as previously undertaken to respect and acknowledge to value, to understand and to incorporate to shore up resilience
Video clip of hand sewing and stitching for repair, of maintaining the same scale of repair as previously undertaken to respect and acknowledge to value, to understand and to incorporate to shore up resilience
Video clip of hand sewing and stitching for repair, of maintaining the same scale of repair as previously undertaken to respect and acknowledge to value, to understand and to incorporate to shore up resilience
Video clip of hand sewing and stitching for repair, of maintaining the same scale of repair as previously undertaken to respect and acknowledge to value, to understand and to incorporate to shore up resilience
Video clip of hand sewing and stitching for repair, of maintaining the same scale of repair as previously undertaken to respect and acknowledge to value, to understand and to incorporate to shore up resilience
Video clip of hand sewing and stitching for repair, of maintaining the same scale of repair as previously undertaken to respect and acknowledge to value, to understand and to incorporate to shore up resilience
Video clip of hand sewing and stitching for repair, of maintaining the same scale of repair as previously undertaken to respect and acknowledge to value, to understand and to incorporate to shore up resilience
Video clip of hand sewing and stitching for repair, of maintaining the same scale of repair as previously undertaken to respect and acknowledge to value, to understand and to incorporate to shore up resilience
Video clip of hand sewing and stitching for repair, of maintaining the same scale of repair as previously undertaken to respect and acknowledge to value, to understand and to incorporate to shore up resilience
Video clip of hand sewing and stitching for repair, of maintaining the same scale of repair as previously undertaken to respect and acknowledge to value, to understand and to incorporate to shore up resilience
Gillian Morris (2021) Mental Health Recovery- A Visual Account of Emotional Repair using looser cross stitching and vintage linen black waxed threads to heal the split but more work is required.
Gillian Morris (2021) Mental Health Recovery- A Visual Account of Emotional Repair using detached seeding stitches and vintage linen red waxed threads to strengthen, reinforce and shore up the material.
Gillian Morris (2021) Mental Health Recovery- A Visual Account of Emotional Repair using over stitching and line stitching with vintage linen red waxed thread to heal the tear.
Gillian Morris (2021) Mental Health Recovery- A Visual Account of Emotional Repair using over stitching and line stitching with vintage linen red waxed thread to heal the tear.
Gillian Morris (2021) Mental Health Recovery- A Visual Account of Emotional Repair line stitching and running stitching throughout the panels to strengthen the robustness of the material.
Gillian Morris (2021) Mental Health Recovery- A Visual Account of Emotional Repair using detached seeding stitches and vintage linen red waxed threads to strengthen, reinforce and shore up the material.
Gillian Morris (2021) Mental Health Recovery- A Visual Account of Emotional Repair using detached seeding stitches and vintage linen red waxed threads to strengthen, reinforce and shore up the material.

I continued to be materials led in the first instance as previously reflected upon, to be led by the vintage linen, of its strength and capacity to hold the print and to accurately represent what was printed, of the materials capacity to capture and express every nuance and detail of the mark making which informed the creative process. The plan for the creative process continues to be embedded within the materials response, of a toing and froing between myself and the material, of a reciprocal process of relating founded upon a flexible open mindedness to being fully committed to each present moment and how I was led by my response to the materials response after each individual print and stitch. In doing so I left myself open to what presents itself and did not close myself off to a range of options and possibilities. That said like the sampling processes the larger scale printing and stitching processes were extended beyond what was initially considered to fully envelope and embrace the emotional resonance of therapeutic change, of a range of stages, phases and shifts to encompass visually.

Gillian Morris (2021) Mental Health Recovery- A Visual Account of Emotional Repair using rows of line stitching to reinforce and support with vintage linen grey waxed thread.
Gillian Morris (2021) Mental Health Recovery- A Visual Account of Emotional Repair using herring bone stitching and vintage linen grey waxed thread to heal the split.
Gillian Morris (2021) Mental Health Recovery- A Visual Account of Emotional Repair using herring bone stitching and vintage linen grey waxed thread to heal the split.
Gillian Morris (2021) Mental Health Recovery- A Visual Account of Emotional Repair using adapted blanket stitching and vintage linen red waxed thread to heal the frayed wound.
Gillian Morris (2021) Mental Health Recovery- A Visual Account of Emotional Repair using adapted blanket stitching and vintage linen red waxed thread to heal the frayed wound.
Gillian Morris (2021) Mental Health Recovery- A Visual Account of Emotional Repair using detached cross stitching to reinforce to reduce vulnerability.
Gillian Morris (2021) Mental Health Recovery- A Visual Account of Emotional Repair using rope stitching with vintage linen red waxed thread to help protect and prevent relapse.
Gillian Morris (2021) Mental Health Recovery- A Visual Account of Emotional Repair using cross stitching with vintage linen red waxed thread to heal the split and mend what had been pulled apart.
Gillian Morris (2021) Mental Health Recovery- A Visual Account of Emotional Repair using upright cross stitching and vintage linen black waxed thread to support the material under threat.
Gillian Morris (2021) Mental Health Recovery- A Visual Account of Emotional Repair using rows of back stitching and vintage linen black waxed thread to strengthen and reinforce.
Gillian Morris (2021) Mental Health Recovery- A Visual Account of Emotional Repair using rows of zig zag stitching and vintage linen black waxed thread to strengthen resilience.
Gillian Morris (2021) Mental Health Recovery- A Visual Account of Emotional Repair using rows of blanket stitching and vintage linen red waxed thread to support the weakened areas.
Gillian Morris (2021) Mental Health Recovery- A Visual Account of Emotional Repair using up right cross stitching to heal and offer psychological first aid.

Through such sampling processes I couldn’t help but reflect upon so many individual therapy processes which I have been directly involved in which has informed my creative relationship with the vintage linen. I have been privileged to be part of such journeys, to witness others at their most vulnerable, at their rawest, of their willingness to share and let me see their emotional hurt, pain and fear, to allow me to help them to help themselves. Such psychotherapeutic relating helped to lead the way concerning the visual representation of mental recovery and repair, of representing such therapy processes through screenprinting and stitching. Through reflecting in process I felt better placed to be emotionally responsive to conveying and communicating what I wanted to say creatively, to visually transfer such emotion into what I was doing in print and stitch.

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