JUNE 11, 2024

Isle of Dogs Flax Exchange

I just have to write a blog about The Isle of Dogs Flax Exchange – it was such an all consuming and wonderful project to be part of. My friend Chrystel Lebas said I should meet Shane over three years ago and eventually I went to discover the beginning of his project in Walton on the Naze, Essex towards the end of 2022 at The Nose and meet Shane. We exchanged materials – alpaca fluff and flax yarn. My love affair with these two materials together began! Shane processed flax from plant to thread accompanied by a live soundscape performed by Merlin Nova on the day I visited.

Then he invited me to be part of the exhibition in Harwich, in the summer of 2023 – part two of the project where there was a further performance by Shane and Merlin.

Fourteen months on from the start of the London element of the project, the culmination of the Isle of Dogs Flax Exchange came together on 25th May 2024 and what a journey and celebration for so many people. I started travelling first to Craft Central towards the end of 2023 and then to Poplar Union weekly to take part in the workshop sessions to lead into the performance day. It was truly wonderful in so many ways. It was so multi-faceted with many layers and such a wonderful coming together of truly creative people – a real community and exchange of ideas. Shane has such a skill holding together so many different characters through all the ups and downs and administration sides of something like this, as well as have fabulous creativity.

The exhibition will run until 15th September at Poplar Union, Tower Hamlets.

The project will continue in new ways…..watch this space! In the meantime please read what Shane has written about the Isle of Dogs Flax Exchange project.