CRAFTINESS: Given the pandemic, #MagicCarpet: Of wandering and weaving, of digits and the digital, of craft and craftiness A tapestry by Kai Syng Tan show at the Manchester Craft and Design Centre was shut ahead of its 4th April date, and the panel discussion cancelled. We were meant to discuss the place of craft and ‘craftiness’ today. The panel was to have featured myself, with Creative Director at the Crafts Council Natalie Melton, and Assistant Curator of Textiles and Wallpaper at the Whitworth Gallery, Uthra Rajgopal, and chaired by the Centre director Kate Day. 

REDISTRIBUTION: The Centre has however honoured the commission. Thus, as of March 2020, I have redirected some of the funding, a minute effort to add to larger efforts and/or can inspire yet other efforts. They include donations to the NHS (for staff access to PPE), the Guardian (for its no-paywall, in-depth coverages) and the Pankhurst Trust (which protects women from escalation of domestic violence during this time); setting up the Craftiness Against COVID-19 haiku contest for emerging/self-employed researchers/artists – see grand results below! I have also begun to think more deeply about the significance of being ‘crafty’ and ‘artful’.

Caption: Laura Feltham of the Centre, with Kai and Dr Darren Henley OBE, CEO of Arts Council England, pictured 31 January 2020 in front of the tapestry of #MagicCarpet (Kai Syng Tan 2017-2019).