Holly Houston (She/Her)
“My work this year was driven in response to the ongoing pandemic and maintaining relationships between myself and family in an isolated time, prompting us to sustain contact and conversation in another way through art. During the past year when life was nothing but normal, I was making work by participating in safe collaboration with female relatives by using practices that they have taught me (sewing and knitting etc) and teaching them new ones through fundamental ‘how to’ videos for a full circle of learning. The final works made were a blanket piece, ‘COVID Family Hug,’ and an installation piece, ‘COVID Family Get Together.’
‘COVID Family Get Together’
The final form of this work has taken place through an installation with the blanket made with the woven squares my family made in the middle of it, and some embroidered pieces showing fragments of verbal conversations my family and I would have had if we were to be partaking in the activity of weaving together but took place through the reflection sheets in the ‘how to’ kits from the first part of this project.
The final piece takes inspiration from how I have had to change the way I maintain my relationships with members of my family throughout the year; mainly through socially distanced outdoor visiting under gazebos to keep dry under the unpredictable Scottish weather and adaptability to do normal activities.
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‘COVID Family Hug’
The first part of my family collaborative project this involved how to kits being sent out to my family that included a handmade loom, material to weave, a link to a video I made teaching them how to weave and a reflection sheet that acted in place of the active conversation we would have been having if we were able to do the activity together. The weaves they made became the heart of a blanket that I wrapped myself in – making the first part of this project, ‘COVID Family Hug.’ The blanket was like a hug from my family, something that I and many people in the world have not been able to do for over a year now.
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