JANUARY 16, 2024

Wonderful beginnings… to 2024

This year has started well with a new large piece of work under way (see my recent Instagram entry), I’ve just been to the EA Sustain Festival 2024 (@eafestivaluk) which was ‘top notch,’ and I was invited to say a few words after the showing of The Nettle Dress film at my local independent cinema club, DOCS in Oundle, Northamptonshire, this month.

This blog is going to be about this beautiful, gentle and inspiring film.

Quotes taken from www.thenettledress.org;

Textile artist Allan Brown spends seven years making a dress by hand just from the fibre of locally foraged stinging nettles.

This is ‘hedgerow couture’, the greenest of slow fashion and also his medicine. It’s how he survives the death of his wife and finds a beautiful way to honour her.

A modern-day fairytale and hymn to the healing power of nature and slow craft.

I had already seen the film in Derby where the experience had been incredible. Not only was I so moved by the gentleness and modesty of the story (and more), but it had drawn together the community in the town to not only watch it together, but to discuss ideas and understandings together afterwards. Allan Brown, who the film is about, and Dylan Howitt who made the film, both so wanted this to happen – communities coming together, to know more what is happening their area, to talk and hopefully develop their actions of treating our planet – our only home – gently. When I was asked to talk after the film, I knew I couldn’t say no – something so close to my heart, but I felt a large responsibility had been put on my shoulders. I contacted Allan Brown, who immediately replied with ‘That’s an onerous task that’s been landed on you’… But further down the line of communications he said ‘I think you should spend the evening talking about your work and ethos so the audience can learn about what is going on in their area… I feel Dylan and I are on the same page as you.’ Such a lovely and humble reply, and that is what I largely did, I spoke about my work and ethos. I so enjoyed sharing what I am so passionate about and how we can all do our bit. I also talked about how this film is part of a much larger picture of more and more people becoming interested in this way of life and making… and putting it into action. The room was packed and people had to be turned away. In many places they have put on a second screening – it is fantastic that this film has touched so many people in many different ways and has gone viral. If you haven’t seen it – I urge you to do so – best seen live, but it is now online too.

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