Fishy tales

– a collaborative project

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It looked pretty spectacular – tremendous sense of a human form having undergone a ‘rich and strange’ sea-change, coated (ha) with bright and magical corally encrustations. Congratulations

Best in show!

I just love the ring pulls!

That’s really interesting – it’s more my kind of thing!

We should try doing something like that! (After we explained our stitch and bitch collaborative process!)

Two members of the group visited Festival of Quilts in 2022 and were interested in the idea of Textiles2020 making a collaborative piece for entry to this year’s show.  The recent Menswear show at the V&A provided inspiration for what our art garment might look like.

Ceridwen agreed to lead the project, with Yvonne, and found a pattern for a tailcoat. This was adapted, and she made a toile of the proposed coat.

Suitable watery-looking fabric was found in Goldhawk Road, and the lining was made of an old silk sari.

Ceridwen experimented with different ways to attach a lining and decided bonding would strengthen the garment in order to support the embellishments

Ceridwen and Yvonne constructed the tailcoat.

Meanwhile the rest of the group were busy making pieces to tell the story of the plight of our oceans.

All the pieces were made from recycled materials, reused fabrics, plastics, net, ring pulls and fishing line.

Over four sessions these were attached to the tailcoat and stitched into place.

The wonderful photographs of the finished coat were kindly taken by Matthew Ward for CityLit Photography.

The theme of our fishtail coat is inspired by the plight of our oceans. There are 14 million tons of plastic pollution in the sea, and fishing gear makes up a large proportion of pollution. Nets cover rocks and trap fish and larger mammals such as seals and dolphins. The nets can be several miles long. The monofilament is very strong. It can take 600 years for these ‘ghost nets’ to disappear.

We aimed to create a piece that shows how important it is to preserve the marine environment and all its natural beauty.

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