GROUND – Thread Bearing Witness (full credit see below)
Cotton, rayon and metallic thread, life jacket material on printed canvas (8m x 3m, 2018)
Courtesy the artist and Candida Stevens Gallery Photograph: Michael Pollard
Alice Kettle talks about a project that seeks to show solidarity with refugees and displaced people across the world time in 2016. Everyone remembers those incredible images coming through the media daily of the horror of people in the sea.
The three pieces reflect my increasing involvement with individuals. I had to start making ‘SEA’ before I met any of the refugees. They took part in the project through ‘GROUND’ and ‘SKY’. This was because the pieces take a huge amount of time to make and I had to begin. So there were practical considerations to take into account, but in a way I think that’s quite interesting, since the project is about learning through the voices of others, changing perspectives and representing those who contribute as truly as I could. The works open a space for others to enter and participate within. My daughter, Tamsin Koumis, introduced me directly to the experience of refugee issues. She has a background of working with migrants and refugees and set up the Dunkirk Legal Support
TAPESTRIES OF LIFE GROUND by Alice Kettle, with residents at PIKPA/Lesvos Solidarity, Saamiullah Kahn, residents at Calais refugee camp working with Suzanne Partridge, Nahomie Bukasa, Sahira Khan and Ai Ling with Linda Leroy at the Helen Bamber Foundation, members of English Chat Winchester, Farhia Ahmed Ali, Nawad Hersi Duale, Amran Mohamud Ismail, the participants from Refugee Action and artists Jenny Eden and Richard Harris, Susan Kamara and Shahireh Sharif. SKY by Alice Kettle, with Saamiullah Kahn, Idil Abdi Mohamud, Muno Idiris Mohamed, Amran Abdi Mohamed, Fartun Umar Jimale, Iqra Abdi Mohamed, Tajura Lamiso Gatiso, Alias Aliye Musa Aliye, Farhia Ahmed Ali, Gutu Habib, Ayantu Abdii, Abdirahman Abdi Muse, Isha Hassan Bare, Bile Ali Aden, Amran Mohamud Ismail, Nawad Hersi Duale, Sahra Mohamud Ismail, Khadar Mohamud Ismail, Mohamed Ahmed, Mezan Ismail, Monica Hamakami, Mohamed Hirey and Abas ElJanabi and participants from Refugee Action at workshops with artists Jenny Eden and Richard Harris. Stitch a Tree. Contributions from individuals, schools and groups in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jersey, PIKPA Camp, Lesvos Refugee Camp, New Zealand, Mexico, Namibia, Norway, Palestine, Romania, UK and USA.
Resurgence & Ecologist