Play Freely

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Several years ago I took part in a wonderful artists exchange project called #fromlincolnshireandback organised by one of the most inspiring women I know. I was living in the High Peak area at the time and it involved starting a piece of work and sending it unfinished to another artist to make thier own. I received an amazing package of embroidered and printed on peices of calico and similar from the wonderful @magpie_blue_textiles . It was at a time when life was especially difficult and I travelled fortnightly to stay where i live now for several days at a time. They were not fun stays and I used to shake off the hard visits with my very ill mother by travelling to a field guarded by this oak and walk or explore or throw the ball for my dog. I loved this tree and found spending time around it uplifting and freeing. So I made a roughly thrown together dress out of more calico and applique pieces, embroidery of my own, even peices of treasure from under the tree, all incorporating the inspiring and precious peices I had been sent. The work was based around the idea that even as an adult we should play freely and gather treasure where we find it. This is something that I celebrated exactly one afternoon when having had a particularly challenging visit with mum the day before my father decided to visit her alone rather than together thereby freeing me to enjoy fresh air and freedom. As it turned out it was unknowingly his opportunity to say goodbye to her for the last time. I have therefore never regretted spending my afternoon here instead of with them. This is the first time I'm sharing a photo of the original 'play freely' dress in its tree despite having taken them years ago. I do so because I am delighted to be revisiting the ideas and feelings behind that original joyous project and developing them now for my part in the #copsecollection installation with another wonderful artist @donna_a_drouin as part of #belvoirarttrail this year. Life just keep giving me these amazing circles and I am ever grateful for them. So #playfreely whenever you can (and wear deep pockets for all the treasure you will gather). #theimportanceofpockets #thankful #textileart

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