Peter Bateson

Peter Bateson 2014-03-25 17:50:31

World Wide Weave Extraordinary Lives A Celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Camphill Movement 1940 2015

We are now developing an exciting new publicity and fundraising campaign. The Foundation has invited all those who are active in weaving and textile workshops in the international Camphill Movement to take part. This includes the UK and Ireland and sixteen other countries in Europe, North America, Africa and Asia. The campaign leads up to and includes Camphill’s 75th anniversary year in 2015.  It was on 1st June 1940 that a pioneering group of refugees from Nazi-dominated Austria took possession of Camphill House, on the banks of the River Dee near Aberdeen, and laid the foundation for a Movement which has now expanded to 114 communities in 25 countries worldwide, 61 of them under the umbrella of the Camphill Association UK & Ireland. The 75 panels will be created by Camphill communities in Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Russia, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, South Africa, United States, Canada, India and Vietnam. The title “Extraordinary Lives” reflects that it will be a celebration of the creative talents and skills of people with special needs in Camphill places.

We have chosen to focus on the craft of weaving/textiles which is well established in the Camphill Movement and happening in most communities.  The activity gives great pleasure and fulfilment to those involved and the “weavery” is often a place where you can feel the creative heart of a community strongly beating. The response to our invitation has been extremely positive and many colleagues and community members with skill and experience in the textile crafts are very enthusiastic to take an active part in our campaign. It will be as inclusive as possible, involving people with learning disabilities and extra support needs not only in the actual weaving but in planning and discussing the whole project from start to finish.

The WORLD-WIDE WEAVE will be the world’s first ever global weave. Everyone involved will play a part in creating an awe-inspiring set of 75 textile panels expressing the character of each participating community and produced in the form of weaving, tapestry or felting, or even in combinations of two or more of these. Other ideas have also developed for using appliqué, embroidery, screen-printing and incorporating other materials. Many communities will be using hand-spun and hand-dyed wool from their own sheep, with dyes produced from plants growing in their own surroundings. The completed panels will be displayed together to form a complete sequence which can be arranged and exhibited in various different ways. The completed work will be shown in locations in the UK and Ireland and interest has already been voiced to have it taken to venues in North America and Western Europe as well. Possible venues are museums, galleries and prominent cultural centres and the panels will also be offered for sale. 

The overall artistic conception for the project is that of DIVERSITY IN UNITY. Each Camphill community is unique – no two in the world are the same, and yet they are all united by the core values of the Camphill Movement, and this shows in the quality of the environment and the quality of social relationships. The project will therefore depict how all the wonderfully varied and diverse characteristics of single communities come together in one great artistic panorama of Camphill, reflecting each community’s relationship to its physical environment and to its social environment.

 Integral to the life of Camphill places are the community members with learning disabilities and extra support needs.  Within the overall holistic and integrated environment of the community they not only lead good lives but EXTRAORDINARY LIVES. They are co-responsible for their communities and able to carry on regular, useful and satisfying work which gives them fulfilment and is of great value to others. They also have many gifts and talents, both artistic and social. Their special gifts in the craft realm, and in this case specifically weaving, will be channelled directly into the World Wide Weave for all to see and appreciate.


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