Photo: Banner making

Banners are a great way to work with groups with textiles either to be carried in processions or at events or as decoration. They are good for making an impact. With craft focussed groups, they can be sewn and embellished but are just as effective using glue and paint so do not need specialist skills or equipment.

In a response to recent articles in the media regarding problems of racism in football both on the pitch and from fans, Breightmet Wanderers Athletic Football Club wanted to take part in a march against racism in football. I worked with members of the youth teams to design and make banners for them to carry on the march. The teams gathered in Breightmet and marched to Bolton town centre with the banners led by Indian drummers. They also displayed them at a local football match. Thank you to all at BWAFC for their hard work and for the photos from the event. The project was funded by Bolton at Home as part of their Smart Materials project.

42nd Street is a charity that works with young people dealing with stress & mental health issues. In 2011, they moved into a new building that had been especially designed for them.  I was commissioned to create various artworks for their new building using designs by the young people as a starting point including fabric wall hangings for the interview rooms. 

Manchester Gamechangers project run by Tandem Theatre over all 10 Manchester districts explored the Suffragists, women’s rights and the power of peaceful protest. I worked with the Manchester group over a series of craft based activities including creating their own protest banner.

One summer I worked with the teen panel at Beacon Counselling to create a series of banners representing the 5 Ways to Wellbeing to adorn the staircase at their Stockport base.

After lockdown, The Lost Words project paired artists and writers with libraries in Bolton to encourage over 50s back to using community spaces. I worked with a group in Breightmet Library to create a textile banner based on a map of the local Seven Acres park and the poems they had created as part of the project.

These stretched over several sessions including research trips to see banners like the collection at People’s History Museum in Manchester and design sessions using drawing, printing or collage. However small banners can be made in a single session like the Easter banners made by adults with learning disabilities at The Holiday Project in Warrington or my Stick, Stitch, Stamp sessions (also see textile collage).