Sayings say more than the words may suggest. Over time and through repetition a saying becomes a rich tapestry, woven from and for the social fabric of particular peoples, coloured with threads that run through generations to bear testimony to accumulated knowledge and experience. Sayings can give peace and certainty to an anxious young soul in China or make a child anxious in Austria. They can be used by others or ourselves to enable us to do more, to live and learn or to scold us for not doing enough, not living up to the expectations of others. They can liberate us from fear or uncertainty or oppress us to follow rules. Words have power, to make or break. Change a word in a traditional saying, say ungesund (unhealthy) instead of morgentsund (early morning), and a new generation can pierce a hole in the shroud of time to breathe new air.
A Stitch in Time is a durational work, combining participatory engagement, collective–making, performance and film. This project ’ draws upon the research of The Open University academics Inma Álvarez and Carlos Montoro’s AHRC-funded Language Acts and Worldmaking project, which focuses on the transformative and pivotal role of language teachers as creative mediators between languages and diverse everyday cultures. The collective stitching was facilitated by the artist Sonia Tuttiett and the whole process at Tate Exchange was captured by filmmaker Marcia Chandra.
Inma and Carlos collaborated with Counterpoints Arts team to design and produce A Stich in Time for Who Are We? Project at Tate Exchange.