Students’ hot air balloon artwork will soar over Thamesmead

A 25-meter high hot air balloon will take to the skies this month in the form of a “floating gallery” showcasing 200 creations telling the stories of a local community.

Students from the Royal School of Needlework (RSN) in south-west London took two years to create the hot-air balloon artwork made with embroidered panels depicting the stories of community members in Thamesmead, south-west London. east of London.

The artwork, named Fields Of EveryWhen, was produced in collaboration with international artists, Neil Musson and Jono Retallick, who together with RSN students collected stories from the community and used them to create 200 designs.

These were digitally enlarged over 800 meters of fabric to form the balloon, which will fly five times this summer as part of a ‘performance’.

Mr Musson said: “We were really impressed with how the students interpreted personal stories as embroidery, especially given the sensitive nature of some of the content.

A design by student Fleur Webb that will adorn the Fields of EveryWhen ball (Royal School of Needlework/PA) (PA Media)

“The wide variety of approaches and creative styles will really enhance the sculptural balloon that will soar over the stories of Thamesmead this summer.”

All five performances will take place in Thamesmead, the first on Monday August 15, at Southmere Park, and the last on Sunday September 25, where its final flight will take place at Gallions Reach Park.

The BA (Hons) Hand Embroidery is the only hand embroidery degree in Europe and is taught at Hampton Court Palace.

Angie Wyman, Head of Courses at RSN, said: “Our students were truly moved by the stories of the local community in Thamesmead and it was hugely interesting to see how they translated them, not just into their creations but also into their chosen embroidery. techniques.

“It was wonderful to bring these unique stories to life with the art of hand embroidery and for the person who shared their story to see how it was interpreted by the student.”

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