Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Artist's call for garments with a story

Mary Pearse, a 15-year-old pauper who never owned shoes, had her story stitched on a silk pair that may have been made by her father Photo: The Stitch Lives of London

Artist Rosalind Wyatt is creating a modern day Bayeux Tapestry by stitching people's stories onto articles of clothing and shoes. She's looking for people to add to the collection, which will be displayed near the Thames, which is the inspiration for the project.

Rosalind Wyatt stitches people's stories in their own handwriting, onto pieces of clothing Credit: Rosalind Wyatt

Rosalind takes up the story: "The Stitch lives of London is an textile installation telling the story of London through text and textile. It will feature 215 garments hung together to form one complete tapestry to follow the path of the River Thames. Each garment features its story through the handwriting of the person who wore the garment. This is stitched by hand and by eye and this technique is called 'writing with a needle'"

Actor Jude Law has donated a shirt he wore in Hamlet, which is embroidered with some of his lines from the play Credit: Rosalind Wyatt

"It emulates precisely the rhythm and spontaneity of the original handwriting which the artist believes is like their voice. She is fascinated by the unique mark left by each individual in their handwriting believing this needs to be preserved through stitch. This 'modern day Bayeux Tapestry' is a tapestry for London now. It celebrates the diversity of our city allowing us to learn from each others stories and lives."

Stephen Lawrence's running top is decorated with the unfinished essay he was writing when he died. It was donated by his mother. Credit: Rosalind Wyatt

"The tapestry will not be a narrative telling of the history but rather show how we live, side by side as individuals using the Thames as a metaphor for the river of life.So far 8 pieces have been donated and completed but the hunt is on for more pieces."

This shirt was worn by a man who was going to jump off a bridge until a passer-by talked him down. He later tracked down his rescuer through social media. Credit: Rosalind Wyatt

"The Mayor of London and the Prime Minister have been approached to donate their own story. The project will bring together museums, galleries, stitchers and the people of London themselves.Londoner Rosalind Wyatt is a British visual artist. She is lead artist and creative director of the Stitch Lives of London trained initially in calligraphy and then Textiles at the Royal College of Art. If you would like to see the individual pieces or get involved in the project - do get in touch!"

www.rosalindwyatt.com

Rosalind uses people's own handwriting to stitch their story onto garments Credit: Rosalind Wyatt