The use of textiles historically contribute to wellbeing:
- The relationship between stitching and wellbeing has been proven to have beneficial effect to those suffering during war, conflict or confinement.
- Thomas Wood, Portrait of Private Thomas Walker. English, 1856. Royal College of surgeons:RCSSC/P 228. Walker was injured at the Battle of Inkerman and was visited by Queen Victoria.
- Soldier sewing as a recovery from war while in confinement in hospitals.
- Postings to far away countries for many years were stressful, and gave rise to psychological complaints.- Breward 2010
- It was acknowledged that craft processes were a powerful aid to healing during war and as Jaqueline Hyman suggests a ‘distraction from drink’ (Hyman 2014)
The therapeutic qualities of stitch:
- Calming potential of stitch in the most abject of circumstances of a Second World War prisoner of war camp.
Exploring the calming potential of stitch in a second world war camp:
- Stitch used in the most abject of circumstances of a Second World War prisoner of war camp
- Aesthetically the work is challenging, conveying the horrific circumstances in which it was stitched, while we can only imagine tiny sections being pulled up to work on whilst the main body of the sheet was left hidden.
- Bed sheet from Stanley internment camp, WWII
- An internee called Daisy Sage embroidered in secret at Stanely Internment Camp in Hong Kong, placing over 1000 names onto a bed sheet.
Girl Guide Quilt, Changi, WWII
The importance of hand and mind occupied during confinement:
- Elizabeth Fry was a social reformer
- She formed the British ladies’ Society for the Reformation of Female Prisoners in 1821.
- Elizabeth Fry, 1780-1845: The relationship between well-being, stitching and confinement
Fine cell work:
- Fine Cell Work was founded by Lady Anne Tree in the 1960’s.
- It currently works with 22 prisons in England and Scotland.
- Fine Cell Work is a registered charity.
my opinion on watching the video: About learning new skills in a places that people or think they have nothing to give. Its about helping people develop as a person but doing this in embroidery. Also gives them something to look forward to in the future. I based in prisons all across the Uk.
“I AM LEARNING A NEW SKILL WHICH I DID NOT THINK POSSIBLE. I ALSO KNOW THAT PEOPLE DO CARE ABOUT ME AND WHAT I DO BECAUSE OTHERWISE WHY WOULD PEOPLE TAKE AN INTEREST IN MY FINE CELL WORK! I NOW BELIEVE WHAT OTHERS THINK ABOUT ME MAKES A REAL DIFFERENCE TO HOW I CONDUCT MYSELF.” STEVE, HMP WANDSWORTH” -http://www.finecellwork.co.uk/about_us/stitching_a_futureThe importance of hand and mind occupied during confinement:
Emma Swinnerton practice based research.
- Research into the importance of societal wellbeing has led to the introduction of mindfulness practices within westernised medicine during the latter part of the 20th Century and 21st Century. Medical pioneers have taken aspects of the spiritual approach of Zen Buddhism and created pivotal influence, highlighting the positive impact mindfulness practices can have on mental health.
- Happier countries are richer countries. This includes social factors: strong social support, absence of corruption, personal freedom.
- Over time as living standards have risen, so too have increased levels of happiness: the world, on average, is a little happier in the last 30 years.
- happiness is lowest in middle age.
How may practitioners contribute to wellbeing?
Making it slow: during our giving and gifting lecture we touched upon the slow movement and discussed artisanal breads. “The slow philosophy is not just about doing everything at a snail’s pace. It’s about seeking to do everything at the right speed.” Carl Honoré, In Praise of Slow.
Make it Slow:
Make it Slow curated by Grace Whowell ,Woodend Gallery, Scarborough, Oct 2013-Jan 2014“In simple terms, the Slow Movement promotes a cultural shift towards slowing down certain aspects of our lives so that we can reconnect with the essential things: food, our families and friends, our locality and community, the things we make and use.”
Knitting and wellbeing;
Henry Moore, 1940-41, sketchbook, – In the drawings we find a quiet form of craft activity that is as relevant today as it was 74 years ago. The items being knitted in the drawing would undoubtedly have been for servicemen, or for family members, in a bid to ‘make do and mend’. The Women huddled together in these most traumatic circumstances, symbolically, represent fortitude, duty, and love, while the therapeutic and calming qualities of knit would have been used simply as a hand steadying, mind employing activity.
Knit and stitch contributing to wellbeing. is a UK based organisation sharing support and experience at the core of ground breaking research into how craft, in particular knitting can contribute to wellbeing.