Monday, 20 February 2012

Fine Cell Work.

In 2010 I went to the Quilt Exhibition at the V and A. It was there that I saw the quilt which had been stitched by prisoners in Wandsworth. Each prisoner had stitched part of their individual story onto a square and it had been sewn together. Some of these tales were very moving and I must admit I had a few private tears. This particular quilt had been stitched by members of fine cell work and I went home to find out more.

I really would like to rave about this as the work is just so beautiful, the story is moving and its just so bloody brilliant. Anyway here's a quote from their brochure which puts it more succinctly than I ever could.

Fine Cell Work is a social enterprise that trains prisoners in paid, skilled, creative needlework undertaken in the long hours spent in their cells to foster hope, discipline and self-esteem.

Last weekend they had a sale of work at Kelmarsh which is just down the road from me and so I volunteered to work in the evening. What a beautiful setting to display such fine work. These cushions take up to a hundred hours to stitch. Once I tried to sew a cushion like this which took me 4 years! Fine Cell Work also make the most wonderful quilts and baby quilts but these take so long to make sadly they weren't on display.

Work with a standard as high as this does come at a price- but it's worth every single penny. Subsequently the client base was a little more affluent than the gang of penniless artists I knock about with. Nevertheless social conscience is a wonderful leveller and I had such a great time.

I wandered around with my camera trying to decide which was my favourite cushion and If I was rich which one would I buy. It's a toughie but Fantastic Mr Fox was the winner by a whisker!

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