(2) Danny Allison - knitting stall_2.JPG

 T H E  I N T E R N  E X P E R I E N C E  2:  

S U S T A I N A B I L I T Y  &  V I N T A G E  B Y  T H E  S E A

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Emily Birkett

As promised, I return to the Journal with a post about my internship, this time dedicated to Deco Publique's festival - Vintage by the Sea. The festival sprung upon us, taking place just one week after Burnley Canal Festival and everyone seemed to be here, there and everywhere. 

Due to having helped with the delivery of two festivals prior to Vintage, I was given the opportunity to incorporate my artistic practice into my internship and host my own knitting workshop in the Little Big Top Tent, entitled Knit With Me at Vintage by the Sea. It was an amazing opportunity for my practice as an artist to bring my degree show knit group to a larger audience, spreading knowledge about sustainability. Between working in the office and the festival site, I was invited to talk on BBC Radio Lancashire with Presenters Sally and Brett as they took over The Midland Hotel lobby for a week of live broadcasting. It sounds scary but when on-air, it was absolutely fine, briefly speaking about my internship and promoting my workshop. 

At the workshop I presented clothing, rags, yarn balls and knit work hanging on wooden clothing rails to give passers by an idea of what could be achieved through textile recycling. Many people joined, I taught those who didn’t know how to knit and others showed great interest in the process as I demonstrated how to chop up clothing efficiently. Visitors felt a sense of nostalgia, explaining that their grandparents used to create rag rugs similar to my work and admitted that they would reconsider throwing their damaged fabric away, which naturally is one of the main factors of my practice; to subtly raise awareness by doing. 

As an addition to this year's Vintage by the Sae programme, an outreach project was developed in collaboration with The Sands Care Home that saw artist Anna Read host painting workshops for the residents and contemporary dance group Spiltmilk deliver vintage themed performances. I was able to support Anna’s workshops and it was such a wonderful experience to engage with the community and create a display in the reception area with all their beautiful work. Through the project, Deco Publique was able to continue spreading the vintage festival experience to a generation that resonates with the era so much. During my festival workshop we collectively created two cushions, so we decided to donate them to the The Sands Care Home for the residents to enjoy. 

Photo credits to Daniel Allison & Mags Carr