A group from the Disability Resource Centre had a flag they designed raised in County Square last week to mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
The group have been taking part in the Threadlines project which is part of Renfrewshire Council’s £4.5 million Townscape Heritage Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme 2 (TH.CARS2) and is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and Renfrewshire Council.
The Threadlines project has been running since summer 2017 and has seen four visual artists collaborate with local community groups to create pieces of artwork that would be temporarily located in Paisley town centre, inspired by the town’s history in printed textiles.
The artists worked with the wood-work and photography groups at the Disability Resource Centre (DRC) to design and prototype two transportable printing presses, focusing on making the traditionally inaccessible printing presses in to something that could be adapted for use by individuals with varied additional support needs.
The photography group designed their own bespoke letters in clay which were photographed and then 3D printed into a letterset for the printing press, and the woodwork group used motifs from old looms and traditional printing presses to make a set of lino and foam cut shapes which could be used to print in their press.
Using the resources, the groups were able to print their own patterns and compositions which have inspired the design on the flag.
The flag was raised in County Square at midday on Monday 3 December, International Day of People with Disabilities, and will be lowered on Monday 10 December (today).
A group from the Disability Resource Centre gathered to see it raised, alongside the artists involved and members of the public. Musicians from Brass Aye? played as the flag was raised.
Rachel Walker, one of the artists working on the Threadlines project said: “Working with the individuals at the DRC was a really interesting and enlightening experience which will continue to inform the way we will work in collaboration with communities in Paisley, making sure we have a practice that will be inclusive of people with additional support needs.”
The artists who have been involved in Threadlines wore specially printed Chore Coats to the flag raising, designed using the prints made by the Disability Resource Centre groups.
Disability Resource Centre volunteer, Jacqueline Sorbie, says that all the participants enjoyed the experience of creating a flag for International Day of Persons with Disabilities. She said: “The project boosted morale within the centre and showed the participants how teamwork can help them achieve their main goal.”
Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson added: “An important part of the TH.CARS2 project was to engage a diverse range of audiences with the heritage and culture of Paisley through learning and making. I’m pleased to see that the Threadlines project has achieved this and hope that the participants will benefit from the new skills they have learned.”
To find out more about the TH.CARS2 project, visit http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/THCars2