Thursday, 19 May 2011

Introducing: Poetry and Clothing Project

Apparently there’s not enough challenging going on round these parts, as I’ve recently conjured up a new one for myself. The idea for it came very organically, as all the best ones do, and I’m really inspired by it. Let me explain:
I have a friend called Harriet who I have mentioned at least once on this blog (she popped up in my Barcelona story post about how the hell I ended up living there). To break things down, basically we met through the Wardrobe Refashion site in 2007-ish. At the time we were both living in East London so we arranged to meet up after work one day. Harriet turned up to the coffee shop with her massive accordion! I was in the middle of having a ‘should I leave my shitty day job to try and do something more fulfilling at the risk of ruining my CV’ type drama, and she was instantly very receptive and gave some great advice. Harriet was a great person to speak to at that time, because she is a deeply creative individual who allows this to manifest throughout pretty much everything she does. And she does a lot. Anyways, she’d been getting into sewing and makery of a fabric nature, so I told her about the London sewing group I was organising at that time. She came along to a meetup, the same one where we met the wonderful Michelle, if memory serves, and the three of us became great friends and had some lovely get-togthers until Harriet moved to Barcelona a few months later.

There really isn’t time or space to list all the interesting things she’s done, both before and after her move to Spain. Her time-consuming day job (as well as simply the number of hours in a day) prevents her currently from actively participating in every single area that interests her, but she is into poetry, photography, collage, sewing, singing, tap dancing, playing the accordion, eco-building, cooking and who-knows what else. She really lives her life in a totally explorative way, always experimenting and pushing forward. For example, Harriet felt she wasn’t keeping abreast of the news enough, so challenged herself once a week to check out the Guardian newspaper online, and then pick a story from which she would extract the words to create a poem. She blogged it, go and have a squizz! She is also heavily involved in the Barcelona Poetry Brothel, where her alter-ego Lola (a tap dancer from the 1920’s) reads poems in English, Spanish and French. A co-creator of the Poetry Machine, she is also about to be featured in a publication called Barcelona Ink, as well as creating some publications of her own. Phew!

(Harriet and me at my 30th birthday shindig)

As you may imagine, I find her energy and output incredibly inspiring. She’s always been fully behind me with all the things I have undertaken and attempted. So, to keep some of her energy present in my own creating, AND to partly repay her for all her support, AND because she has so many plates spinning at the moment her sewing has been a bit neglected of late, I have pledged to make her at least one garment per month for a year (starting last month in April). Witness the birth of the ‘Poetry & Clothing’ Project (it’s a rubbish name, but a cute logo, no?!). Both of us have stuck to our Wardrobe Refashion pledges, therefore shopping for new clothes isn’t an option for her, so I think she’ll appreciate some ethically produced custom-made threads heading her way. As an expressive person and one hot mamasita, looking good and representing herself through her clothing is as important to Harriet as it is the rest of us. So it is with this in mind, along with our commonly-held values of reusing/recycling over buying new that I go into this new challenging project.

The keen eyed among you might have realised that it is now May, which means that I should have already started this challenge. Indeed I have and I’ll create a separate catch-up post very soon. I’ll keep you updated with my progress as this project and year unfolds.

9 comments:

Anna. Kathryn Vaughn said...

What a great way to give back. You are amazing as well as inspiring. Can't wait to see and read.

Corrine said...

What great friends you are to each other. A rare find these days.

Law said...

Zoe this is such a lovely thing to do! And what a great way to show a friend how much they mean to you :o)

Miss P said...

Gosh, you must really miss being able to hang out with her regularly. She sounds phenom. As are you, lovely. Wonderful idea.
Any firm dates for a meet up on the horizon?
Px

Stacy said...

What a wonderful project! She does indeed sound like a very inspiring person.

Debi said...

I love this sooo much! I hope to eventually meet Harriet!

Tilly said...

You mentioned you were sewing clothes for a friend when we were in one of the fabric shops on Goldhawk Road, and I was so taken aback by your generosity I couldn't quite articulate myself, but really wanted to know why - what's the story behind someone spending valuable sewing time on someone else?!

But now you've described Harriet it makes perfect sense. She's an inspiring, generous character who makes you want to spread more joy yourself. You're lucky to have a friend like her, and she's also VERY lucky to have a friend like you. I'm sure she (or any of us, actually) could write a post about what an amazing, inspiring, creative, generous, adventurous, fun and joyful individual you are too. x

Liz said...

What a lovely challenge!

Erin said...

Good for you, that is an awesome gift to give a friend. Especially something you will have put such effort and thought into.

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