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Sixth Branch

Sixth Branch

Linda Florence


Collaborators: Linda Florence, Nawal Slemiah, Sabrina Kraus Lopez, Faye McNulty, Caf Fean and the Women in Hebron
Student Designers: Valentine Genet, Michael Woods, Nadia Wire Albrechtsen,Violet Miller,Jess Griffin, Natasha Sweeney,Iris Delphine Murphy, Helen Milne

Find out more about Sixth Branch:

http://sixbranch.com/about.html
www.womeninhebron.com



Women In Hebron is a collective of 120 embroiderers based in the Hebron area of Palestine. They teach traditional skills and produce textiles drawing inspiration from patterns passed down through the decades. Nawal Slemiah, the founding director of the collective, met Linda Florence, Senior Lecturer at Central Saint Martins in 2015. Slemiah was eager for the collective to find new challenges for making and new avenues for selling, while Florence wanted to open the students’ practice to new ways of working, and the collaborative project was born and is named after a Palestinian style of dress with six vertical bands of embroidery.

Since then, the two groups have been working together to establish a new ethical design society that travels across borders. The students learnt about the traditional contexts of Palestinian textiles while also testing their ability to communicate throughout a production process. While Slemiah, was eager to engage with contemporary design, to open up new markets while celebrating, and pushing, the skills at the heart of the collective’s craft. The students explored the textile traditions of Palestine through a series of workshops. Once they had reached their final designs, eight were selected. The resulting designs were wide-ranging from a magnified pomegranate or geographical maps to a reworked Keffiyeh scarf or emblazoned ‘Made in Palestine’ statements which were posted to Hebron for the embroiderers to interpret.

Weeks later, the prototypes landed at Central Saint Martins and the students opened the parcels to see their products in the flesh for the first time. Six Branch stretches design and making across national borders, combining the strengths of the two groups to create something unique. Importantly, Six Branch does not follow one direction but instead is reciprocal; once the first version of the designs had been completed, the embroiderers then create their own version in reply. The products were exhibited at CSM and presented at International Women's Day 2017

This project is a starting-point, with the hope that a series of collaborative collections can grow, promoting cultural exchange through the stitches of embroidery.

Linda Florence

Women In Hebron is a collective of 120 embroiderers based in the Hebron area of Palestine. They teach traditional skills and produce textiles drawing inspiration from patterns passed down through the decades. Nawal Slemiah, the founding director of the collective, met Linda Florence, Senior Lecturer at Central Saint Martins in 2015. Slemiah was eager for the collective to find new challenges for making and new avenues for selling, while Florence wanted to open the students’ practice to new ways of working, and the collaborative project was born and is named after a Palestinian style of dress with six vertical bands of embroidery.

Since then, the two groups have been working together to establish a new ethical design society that travels across borders. The students learnt about the traditional contexts of Palestinian textiles while also testing their ability to communicate throughout a production process. While Slemiah, was eager to engage with contemporary design, to open up new markets while celebrating, and pushing, the skills at the heart of the collective’s craft. The students explored the textile traditions of Palestine through a series of workshops. Once they had reached their final designs, eight were selected. The resulting designs were wide-ranging from a magnified pomegranate or geographical maps to a reworked Keffiyeh scarf or emblazoned ‘Made in Palestine’ statements which were posted to Hebron for the embroiderers to interpret.

Weeks later, the prototypes landed at Central Saint Martins and the students opened the parcels to see their products in the flesh for the first time. Six Branch stretches design and making across national borders, combining the strengths of the two groups to create something unique. Importantly, Six Branch does not follow one direction but instead is reciprocal; once the first version of the designs had been completed, the embroiderers then create their own version in reply. The products were exhibited at CSM and presented at International Women's Day 2017

This project is a starting-point, with the hope that a series of collaborative collections can grow, promoting cultural exchange through the stitches of embroidery.

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