A MOTHER-DAUGHTER arts group have launched the Stitch a Tree project in aid of refugees across the country.

Thread-bearing witness, the organisation behind Stitch a Tree, are calling on sewing fanatics across the country to provide contributions for their monumental piece – a forest of embroidered trees.

Be they sycamore, pine, willow or blossom, each of the hand-stitched trees will symbolise Manchester’s solidarity with refugees and migrants everywhere.

Stitch a tree for refugees project
one of the many contributions

The forest is set to be unveiled at the Whitworth Gallery in Autumn 2018, following a brief stint on show at the Winchester Discovery Centre whilst the contributions are compiled.

Behind the novel idea is Alice Kettle, a professor in textile arts at Manchester Art School, and her daughter Tamsin Koumis, a human rights activist.

Kettle claims that it was her daughter’s humanitarian work with the Dunkirk Legal Support group that motivated her newly-found passion for helping refugees and migrants in need – otherwise known as ‘displaced people’.

“My daughter has been deeply affected by the time she has spent working with refugees, so I wanted to express my support for her and those she worked with, to offer a ‘one world’ view.” She explains.

“We’re creating this project to show support with those seeking safety and shelter around the world, with a focus on women and children in particular.”

“Stitch is a powerful, quiet medium- It’s like a global language that crosses boundaries and defines our cultural heritage.”

She goes on to explain the universal appeal of the project.

“Textiles are part of the everyday world we live in, not just the art world – but they are also my chosen medium as an artist.

“There are also plenty of displaced groups in Manchester, so we are welcoming anyone to join.”

Best of all, you don’t need to be a master seamstress to help out – the project welcomes all ages and abilities.

If you want to get involved, visit the Thread Bearing Witness facebook page to find out how to get your very own Stitch a Tree pack.

Want a sneak peak of the forest in question? Check out our gallery below:



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