Size 24 x 24 cm. Central panel 21 x 21 cm. The piece is hand embroidered and hand stitched with vintage Sylko thread. Hand and Shuttle: Eco-leaf printed vintage Lancashire cotton cloth. Vintage Sylko thread. Outer border: Linen, surface designed with bleach and discharge paste. Vintage Sylko thread. Designed and hand stitched in three weeks.
The piece shows a Lancastrian weaving shuttle in a Cotton Weavers hand. Cotton Weavers were predominantly women and were paid for each piece of cloth produced, so speed and accuracy were important. This made them heavily reliant upon the Tacklers – who were all men – to repair the looms the women worked on as quickly as possible. The Tacklers often abused this position including incidents of sexual abuse and harassment.
The words around the border of the piece are from a poem submitted by a Weaver to the ‘The Factory Times’ – a newspaper which championed workers’ rights and unionization in order to prevent such abuse and improve working conditions.
Women Cotton Weavers were actually some of the most highly paid and unionized female manual workers in Victorian Britain and some took part in the early women’s suffrage movement in Manchester during the latter part of the 19th Century.
Elizabeth Dubbelde of Berry Quilting set the challenge for embroiderers and textile artists to create a work under the theme EmpoweRED.
‘What can I do to make a stand about injustices, to raise my voice in protest?
Hence “Empowered” gives us an opportunity through art textiles to raise our voices to show solidarity & support to victims of sexual assault. I urge you to raise your voice by creating a piece of work that relates to the theme of Empowered.’ Elizabeth Dubbeld.
Creating ‘Resilience’ has been a real learning curve for me. It was designed and constructed in a completely different way to any of my previous art. With each new piece I find myself pushing the boundaries of my abilities to see what I can possibly achieve.