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Threads and Yarns

Threads and Yarns

Anne Marr, Rebecca Hoyes

Threads and Yarns was a three-phase intergenerational textile project exploring personal accounts of health and well-being as part of the Wellcome Trust’s 75th anniversary programme set up by Dr. Jo Morrison, Rebecca Hoyes (TFRC) and Anne Marr (TFRC).

TFRC researchers ran inter-generational sessions at the V&A with and BA Textile Design studets and senior citizens from the Camden and Euston area, crafting flowers from coloured yarns whilst their personal aural histories were captured. While project participants engaged in creative making workshops they talked about their own biomedical histories. These personal accounts were then examined by researchers of science, history of medicine and medical humanities, as well as textile design students. Each researcher developed responses that were presented at a public engagement event held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in July 2011. The students used their experience to inform their research exploring textile trends within a social context, and their resultant films were also featured at the event. This enabled the Wellcome Trust’s network of researchers in science, history of medicine and medical humanities to examine accounts of biomedical advances over the past 75 years and develop responses to them.

The 125 flowers, eight of which were interactive, were then turned into an installation by the students with the help of the Queen Mary G.Hack Group, which was exhibited at the V&A Sackler Centre as well as the Bloomsbury Festival at SOAS.

The work went on to influence future research design at Queen Mary and a paper by Anne Marr and Dr. Jo Morrison was published in the Journal of Textile Design Research and Practice. 'Threads and Yarns: intergenerational engagement and cross-disciplinary research through textiles' demonstrates how communal crafting can be used as a cross-disciplinary research tool to facilitate valuable insights into the past and future of health and well-being, and to inform socio-responsive textile design research practice.

Anne Marr, Rebecca Hoyes


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