Interview by Emily Smith Featuring Aja from The Textile Group
This Saturday, August 6th at Noon, meet at Thornton Park (at Main and Terminal) to participate in the first ever Craft Pride Procession. The event is put on by a group of textile artists – known as the Textile Group, who were inspired to show their crafting pride – and invite anyone to participate in this event!
See the route:
1. What exactly is a “Craft Pride Procession” – and how did you come up with the idea?
Image: via Lacey Jane Roberts
I don’t think we will know what a Craft Pride Procession is until it happens. To my knowledge, this is the first! The inspiration came from a piece of writing by artist Lacey Jane Roberts that was presented at the Neo-Craft Conference in Nova Scotia and is also featured in a new book titled “Extra/ordinary; Craft and Contemporary Art”. Her ideas suggest that Craft – as a creative process and as a diverse myriad of makers – could learn a thing or two from tactics utilized in Queer theory to “acknowledge stereotypes, flip them and then subvert them to form new models of identity.” Craft as a term is defined in so many disparate ways, some of them informed solely by negative misperceptions. This procession is our way of creating agency, our own representation and celebration of our selves, our practices and diverse communities, while paying homage to the influence of Queer culture, esp. Pride Parades.
2. What would you recommend people bring to the event? Should we bring projects that we’re working on, or costumes that we’ve made? Can you give me some examples of what you have in mind for the event?
We have a list of ideas started, but we hope it’s only the beginning of what is possible. Anything you can carry, wheel or wear in parade is acceptable. If you think it’s crafty, it is! Here’s our list so far:
Giant ball of yarn, Shrine, Works in progress, Sock on a pole, Decorate your bicycle, Hair wrap, Zipper covers, Headbands, Mascots, Decorated dolly/float, fort, Fabric ribbons/streamers, Banners, Flags, Bunting, Maypole, Costumes, Crocheted shorts, Wrapping Cars in textiles, Handmade instruments, Quilts on a dowel, Weavings, Yarn garlands, Chalk/pigment, Tape, Prayer Flags, Conkers, Craft beer, Witchcraft, Non-conventional material.
image: via Lacey Jane Roberts
3. What’s your overall goal or mission in putting together this event?
To have fun! To create an exciting, inspiring event that shows the unconstrained energy of this elusive and extensive creative practice! To celebrate the ways in which we connect and the ways in which we differ from one another! To share our labours of love and brighten up the place with our endless creativity!
4. Will there be music or singing? Should I bring my boombox/stereo/piccolo?
image: via mrmarkrobson
We would love to have sounds! All kinds are welcome. What’s a parade without music? Maybe we will come up with a chant… I was thinking, “Make Lovecraft, Not Warcraft”.
5. Can you tell me a bit about your experience in the arts as well as crafting circles in Vancouver? How would say a crafting group differs from an arts group – and what’s your vision in overlapping the arts with crafts?
I live with a foot in both worlds and I no longer try to cut myself in half in order to choose which is which. I identify as an artist and I use some materials traditionally deemed craft. I know that those lines are not always clear and it suits me. I am more interested in challenging definitions than creating them. In doing all this, my hope is that people will become more free to make the kind of art/craft/work they feel called to, without concern of being marginalized by people/groups/institutions with limiting ideas.