Larchfield Community, Hemlington, Middlesbrough, England

Each member of our workshop has contributed to the panel reflecting on their experiences and understanding of the social aspect of their community life and what it means to them. Initial discussions for the inspiration of our panel were captivating.   It was evident that each member took pleasure in communicating what was important to them personally.  The animals were important to everyone from the much loved Poppy and Toby (Jack Russells) to the wild rats that they chased and caught.  Each had a story connected to the animals you see and took great joy in sharing their experiences.

  Our community has a strong work ethic and our members wished to portray some of the meaningful activities they engaged in on a daily basis.  The gardener is surrounded by his freshly picked produce and the baker displays one of our member's favourite ‘Smartie' birthday cakes.  Many of our members enjoy a variety of experience in their work and will work on the farm as well as. for example in the shop and craft workshop.  As you can see the baker also holds her knitting and a tin of paint which reflects the work she does elsewhere.  All areas of her chosen work are part of who she is as an individual but give her a role in the community as a whole.   The ice cream represents trips to Saltburn by the Sea for one of our ladies who enjoys a visit to the seaside on her ‘one to one' experience.  The pirate peeping from behind the sunflower illustrates the importance of characters in our community.  Events are organised to incorporate everyone's interests which promote acceptance of each person's understanding of the world around them.   When completed, our members were delighted with the panel.  It was described as ‘beautiful ‘and each one of us enjoyed recognising each other's contribution.  The weaving, knitting and felting came together as a whole although each part had been created individually.   The base of our panel was woven on our large loom with wool which was spun for us in Scotland from the fleeces of our Woodland White sheep that graze in the fields of our community.    We feel the overall image is uncomplicated, simplistic with a folk art naivety.  There is no true perspective - bees are larger than chickens - nevertheless it expresses a sense of happiness in our community and we hope this is reflected in the piece of work we have created for the World Wide Weave exhibition.