The embroidery tells stories from Thamesmead on a huge hot air balloon

SEWING STORIES: Students Imogen Campbell, Rebecca Rowan, Rosie Sykes and Fleur Webb with their Fields of EveryWhen embroideries

Submitted to InYourArea

Embroidery artists from the Royal School of Needlework helped bring the stories of the local community to life on a 25-metre high hot air balloon.

Graduate students have collaborated with international artists Neil Musson and Jono Retallick on a unique artwork that will fly over the River Thames.

The ‘Fields of EveryWhen’ project engaged with the community of Thamesmead over a two-year period. The resulting artwork consists of two parts: local stories converted into embroidery, and the hot air balloon displaying those embroidery.

The hot air balloon features 200 designs that have been glued together and digitally enlarged on 800 meters of balloon fabric to form a “floating gallery”.

After its first outing on August 15, the balloon will fly over Thamesmead four more times this summer:

  • Saturday August 20 at Southmere Park
  • Saturday September 10 at Birchmere Park
  • Saturday, September 24 at Crossways Park
  • Sunday, September 25 at Gallions Reach Park.

Course leader Angie Wyman said:

“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.”

Fields of EveryWhen is a celebration of social and cultural interaction, showcasing the area’s landscape, buildings and history through its community, and reinforcing the area’s reputation as a growing creative district of London.

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Artist Neil Musson said: “It has been a pleasure working with RSN students. We were really impressed with how the students interpreted the personal stories as embroidery, especially given the sensitive nature of some of the content.

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

To learn more about hot air balloon rides as well as works and stories, visit here.

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