I spent a week researching in Tammam Atelier in Bloomsbury, London under award-winning eco haute-couture designer Lucy Tammam’s mentorship. There I met a group of dedicated and hardworking women whom I observed, interviewed and filmed while they worked on their impressive craft. As our current aim is to research the significance of tradition within textile crafts amongst women, this residency-mentorship gave us an opportunity to discover and be inspired by the unique stories of these women.
Witnessing their multitasking processes on the diverse scale of sewing reminisced dancers’ multidirectional yet deeply focused attention to movement. The fine, precise, and thoroughly considered actions in an attempt to salvage for example a vintage dress summarises extremely well the ethos of Tammam Atelier: empowering women while working a serious skill in the most sustainable manner.
On Thursday, 18th October, Tammam Atelier was transformed into an exhibition space for Bloomsbury Festival. 100 pieces were especially selected for FiLiA 100, all based around themes of emancipation and suffrage, it being the centenary of women achieving the right to vote in the UK. Landing Collective’s print Zikaruisto which featured in the Take Heart art auction earlier this year, was included in this exhibition as well.
As a conclusion of the week in London I also gave a workshop on the topic of female textile tradition, not just reflecting back to our material but also giving the participants a chance to create new choreography based on their own memories and imagery.
Next I headed to Manchester to show our newest film work at the international FiLiA conference and research especially topics around refugee and migrant women’s lives. Our new dance film, Zikaruisto, premiered there and was screened throughout the weekend.
This opportunity with its various events in overall was very special for me. It provided a fundamental understanding of the importance of these women’s work in their community and beyond. It sparked new ideas. It made the connection between the movement and the content more tangible for me.
This mentorship and training opportunity was supported by the Arts Council of Ireland and FiLiA organisation.
Tammam Atelier tammam.co.uk/