The textile banner is now finished and was shown for the first time at the Community Fun Day on 6th August.
Making it was a brilliant experience and we’ve learnt and developed a range of useful skills throughout the research, design and making stages. The banner was truly a collaborative process incorporating a variety of techniques including image transfer from paper to fabric, hand and machine sewing and applique.
The banner explores the heritage of Broomhill and the surrounding area, taking inspiration from the landscape that surrounds it, key historical markers such as WWII, and the work lives of the Broomhill Residents. Yellow and purple fabrics are used at the top to symbolise the heather that spreads itself over the hills at the top of Greenock. The bell motif makes reference to the Drumfrochar Road flats – soon to be demolished – with their iconic bell-shaped towers, a motif also explored within the Wednesday Art Kid’s Club at the Broomhill Art Flat. As the banner meanders down, roughly following the path of The Shaws Waterfalls, many of the key industries in Broomhill are referenced including the Merino Mills with woollen patches and knitted woollen squares, and the Tate and Lyle factory with brown and white beads to look like sugar. The 7 month long sit-in of 1981 at the Lee Jeans factory – where many women from The Broomy worked – was marked with a reference to the 240 fish suppers that were bought on the first night to feed the workers-cum-protesters. The shades of blue fabric were picked to represent the light blue overalls of the Lee Jeans factory workers as well as the Wrens, the women who worked in the shipyards during WWII. The Wrens can also be seen in the 2 image transfers fixing the netting using to trap the German submarines, and real netting has been used to reference this job, while the number 1865 marks the amount of women who worked in the shipyards during the war in Greenock. Maps of the area have been copied and used to decorate the banner, as well as illustrations of the high flats in Broomhill, and fabrics with geometric designs and patterns which we felt looked like the cranes rising up from the Clyde at the bottom of Greenock.
All in all, we’re very proud of the banner and can’t wait to exhibit in the Art Flat and at other events around Broomhill and Greenock. Many thanks to Geraldine from Rags to Riches for leading the sessions.
The Recycle Upcycle sessions will continue at 12 Broomhill Court, PA15 4ET from 6-8pm every Monday. The workshops are open to all ages and abilities, but children must be accompanied by an adult.