A new weaving exhibition showcases the work of local groups who have embraced the textile traditions that made Paisley famous all over the world.
The exhibition, which is now on display at Paisley Art Centre Café, has launched in time for Weave Festival and Sma’ Shot Day taking place this Saturday and features a selection of weaving samples from a range of local groups who have participated in the workshops since February to learn traditional weaving skills from experts.
The project is being delivered through Renfrewshire Council’s £4.5 million Townscape Heritage Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme 2 (TH.CARS2) which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and Renfrewshire Council. TH.CARS2 aims to make the area around the High Street a more attractive place to visit and invest as well as engage a diverse range of audiences with the heritage and culture of Paisley through learning and making.
The workshops are being led by professional weaver Amy Bond on behalf of Glasgow Clyde College’s Fashion & Textiles Department which was selected to deliver the project.
She said: “I jumped at the chance to deliver the workshops as it is a great opportunity to work with the community alongside being able to continue the heritage of weaving, particularly in Paisley.
“The workshops really benefit the participants in so many ways. Not only is everyone learning a new skill, they are also working together to bounce ideas off one another and gaining the confidence to be creative.
“I feel the workshops have real mental health benefits for participants too. I ensure each session is a relaxing and safe environment where everyone can weave, learn and talk.
Renfrewshire Council leader, Councillor Iain Nicolson, said: “The weaving workshops have not only been a great way to carry on Paisley’s famous textile traditions but have also allowed members of the community show their creativity and learn new skills.
“I would encourage everyone to go along and see the exhibition while it is at Paisley Arts Centre so they can see first-hand just some of the creative talent we have in the town.”
Weekly workshops were held at Paisley Abbey and The Disability Resource Centre with participants from local groups including the STAR Project, RAMH, the Phoenix Activity Group, KAIROS and InCube.
One of the workshop participants, Shena McDonald, said: “I jumped at the chance to be part of the weaving workshops. I was a teacher and had some experience in weaving, but only had certain skills. Now, after two blocks, I have developed a different set of skills and more advanced weaving techniques which I can take away.
“It’s been very enjoyable working with the people on the course and the whole action of doing it is very therapeutic.
Louisa Menoni said: “There’s a real sense of community and it’s been great to be creative and get to know new people through taking part in these workshops. It definitely creates a form of mindfulness as you tend to be caught up in the process and get lost in the thread.”
The exhibition will be at Paisley Arts Centre Café until Monday 23 July.
For more information on the TH.CARS2 project please visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/
To find out more about Weave Festival and Sma’ Shot Day please visit: www.paisley.is.