Elaborate Costumes Send a Message of Breaking Free from Slavery and Racism with Optimism and Hope.
It all began in the summer of 1958 in West London when racial tensions grew in the Afro-Caribbean community. Riots went on for three days with over 100 people getting arrested over the bank holiday weekend.
In 1959, the human rights activist, Claudia Jones who was also a Trinidadian journalist, decided to organise an indoor Caribbean carnival to bring all the communities together. That’s when the ‘concept’ of the Notting Hill Carnival came about.
Fifty-four years later, it is the second largest street festival in the world attracting up to 2 million visitors from all over the globe and contributing around £93 million to the UK’s economy, annually (but not this year, as the Carnival is cancelled in 2020).
Every year, around 15,000 costumes are handmade for the carnival parade. Taking over a million hours to create, the main message behind these elaborate costumes is breaking free from slavery and racism, while the music represents the life left behind by the Caribbean community after the emancipation of the freed African slaves from the Caribbean.
This short film The Craft of Carnival, commissioned by the Crafts Council (UK), goes behind the scenes with Mahogany Carnival to discover the craft that helps make it a success each year.
During your ‘COVID-19 Residency’, you might enjoy some of these articles, podcasts, videos and online courses in the list of links below. It’s an unashamedly random collection. Some fun, some inspiring, not exactly ‘pd’* and certainly not paid endorsements! Scroll down for podcasts, online tutorials, and access to the world’s archives…
(*A ‘Useful Craft Resources’ page is coming soon.)
We’ll keep adding to this, so please share your links too, by commenting below or emailing us.
Coronavirus offers “a blank page for a new beginning” : The coronavirus epidemic will lead to “a global recession of a magnitude that has not been experienced before” but will eventually allow humanity to reset its values, according to trend forecaster Li Edelkoort. See also podcast of interview with Li below.
Garland Magazine: thoughtful articles about beautiful objects made today across the Indo-Pacific; produced by the World Crafts Council – Australia. Explore some of the 877 stories on the platform!
The Australian Ceramics Association offers a digital archive of the first 56 years of its Journal publication to everyone, FREE! Browse over 150 issues full of articles, technical information on glazes and kilns, in-depth profiles and critical opinions on Australian ceramics.
Soul Traders podcast: two West Australian chicks’ new podcast about working as a creative freelancer. It’s just started but we know it will be gold. Photographer Bo Wong & writer Amy Snoekstra. (This link is to Spotify but also available on other pod platforms.)
Hermes Documentaries including ‘Luxury is that which can be repaired’, ‘The Story of an exceptional saddle-maker’ and ‘Manufacto: Shaping One’s Life by Making Objects’.
Around 30 free or near free short uni courses from around the world available online in art and design. Including ‘Innovation through Design:Think, Make, Break, Repeat’ from Sydney and ‘The Power of Podcasting for Storytelling’ from Wollongong.
Woolmark Learning Centre: I nearly wept when I saw the opportunity to learn more about the beautiful material of wool (it’s an ancestry thing) – courses for industry and tertiary level, as well as the plain interested.
How to Weave a Basket with Tjanpi Desert Weavers, who also have a learn to weave kick-starter pack. Tjanpi Desert Weavers is a social enterprise of the NPY Women’s Council, working with over 400 Anangu/Yarnangu women artists from 26 remote communities in the remote Central and Western desert regions, who earn an income from contemporary fibre art. ‘Tjanpi’ means grass in Pitjantjatjara language.
Stop Motion School: Free online course to keep you and the kids busy. The instructor, Trisha Zemp (@trishazemp) says she “will help you create your very own stop motion videos. Whether you are 7 or 107, this class is sure to be a blast!” [untested]
Rose Megirian of Many Peaks Assembly has provided links to FREE sewing patterns and created some instructional videos on sewing techniques, such as ‘Sewing French Seams’. Rose is a locally based Fremantle designer maker and entrepreneur.
Rowan Yarns produces some of the most beautiful yarn shades and patterns for crochet and knitting, as well as patterns in collaborations with UK top designers; based in Huddersfield, Yorkshire. Many of the patterns suitable for beginner to intermediate to expert are free online, as well as crochet and knitting tutorials in their tips and tricks. Their magazine is also full of knitting inspo, available via their new app.
With Google Arts & Culture, you can tour over 500 art institutions worldwide, including the V&A, the world’s leading museum of art and design in London, where you can browse exhibits and over 5000 objects. Also other art museums such as the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, and many others.
The Internet Archive has literally billions of resources. There is so much in this Archive, that we may lose you for years. It is a not-for-profit digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artefacts in digital form. It provides free access to researchers, historians, scholars, the print disabled, and the general public. Their mission is to provide Universal Access to All Knowledge. Explore The Smithsonian and Guggenheim catalogues, look out for ‘how-to‘ books and videos about crafts, vintage films, and so much more.
Maker&Smith acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land where we operate, the Nyoongar people, in particular the Whadjuk and Mineng peoples. We respect their culture and the continuing contribution they make to the life of this region.