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The Cut Of Her Cloth

Intra Arts and Live Music Now are delighted to announce the launch of our exciting new textile and song project ‘The Cut Of Her Cloth’ on Thursday 2nd June, 10am – 4pm. Join us at INTRA in Rochester on the first day of the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday for a fun filled day of music, sewing, making and cake.

Thanks to £50k of Platinum Jubilee funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, we’ll be bringing together communities across the Medway Towns in this two year project to create processional textile banners, ceremonial garments and songs celebrating inspirational women with strong links to the area, and saluting 70 years of Her Majesty The Queen’s reign.

With a series of 60 free workshops led by textile artists and musicians beginning this autumn, we’ll be exploring women’s stories through stitch, appliqué, embroidery and music, in locations across the Medway Towns. Focusing on historical figures, hidden heroines, and those women who deliver for our local area. Who are our Medway Queens? We’d love to hear your ideas.

At the launch event we’ll be sharing some of our research into women who have already been proposed for the project, and inviting more suggestions of local female leaders. You can meet artists Xtina Lamb, Rosie James, Catriona Faulkner, Jatin Patel, Philippa Hornsby and Frances Cowper Holzhausen who can help you to try out some stitching and appliqué techniques, and there will be live music from Rachel Lowrie and Jali Bakary Konteh.

Embroidery silks arranged as a crown

Her Majesty the Queen has given 70 years of service to our nation and communities, and with this project we will mark her historic reign by celebrating the myriad of ways that Medway women have led us in positive directions, and supported our communities. At the end of the project there will be a community parade with the illustrated banners, garments and specially composed songs, as part of a local festival.

The workshops will be open to all ages, and we’ll be inviting community groups throughout the Medway Towns to take part. With regular meet ups to work on this collaborative creative project, we hope that meaningful connections, friendships and skill sharing will build between the people who join in, and that we’ll get to hear a lot about your own stories as well as the women we are celebrating.

In 1931 actress Sybil Thorndike wore a showpiece custom-made gown called the Spirit of Rochester for a huge historic pageant in Rochester’s Castle Gardens. This story is a starting point for the textile pieces in this project.

UPDATE – Jun 2022: See photos from our launch on Instagram

UPDATE – Dec 2022: Vote results of our nominated female leaders + Mailing List sign up

Many thanks to National Lottery players for making this project possible.

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