'A stitch for every sound' was presented at The London Wetland Centre as part of Wetlands Unravelled, a contemporary arts programme with new sculptural, installation, video and textile works by ten international artists including Tanya Kovats, Eloise Moody and Caitlin Heffernan. The art explores conflicting notions of our relationship with, and management of, wetland environments by focussing on the overlooked and hidden stories of the site.
Research aims and objectives
o To investigate the feasibility of exhibiting embroidery’s outside and their impact on public understanding and engagement
o To explore the bioacoustics of wildlife sites in UK, in particular the processes through which a perception of the acoustic environment of the London Wetland Centre can be experienced and exposed through the use of stitchery
The artwork was stitched in various listening locations across The London Wetland Centre during my visit’s in 2019 and 2021. Each stitch records a sound heard on the site, marking the textures criss-crossing over each other then merging outwards to the expanse of sky with metronomic sounds of airplanes providing a persistent and often overwhelming rhythm. The London Wetland Centre also served as a place to engage others to become active listeners, fully immersed in the moment during an improvised action of stitchery. Part of the role of the embroiderer in this context is to filter and identify sounds, to track them, mark their rhythms and let them exist as a texture on the cloth, and to attend, with increased sensibility, to the rumbles of life happening in front, behind, around and above us.
Wetlands Unravelled is a collaborative project between WWT and Unravelled. Rob Campbell, Head of Experience, Engagement and Learning at Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT), said, “Wetlands Unravelled is the latest and most ambitious in a series of contemporary art commissions on WWT sites. We’re very excited to showcase, through this programme, new work from artists responding to the unique wetland habitat we manage at London Wetland Centre. We want Wetlands Unravelled to stimulate thinking and discussion around the vital role wetlands play in the environment and the fight against global climate change.”