It is always a pleasure and honour to be asked to collaborate with an artist or institution such as The Old Vic. These collaborations offer a great opportunity for our stitchers to feel involved in something that will have a truly positive impact on the wider world, offering a visible legacy that is wholly disconnected from their current plight.
The brief was to make an affordable cushion to be sold in The Old Vic gift shop as part of this year’s celebration for their 200th anniversary. Having just reached the end our own anniversary year we were completely on board with the concept of creating a piece that can enable more people to also join in the celebration on a broader level. We are also completely in awe that they have reached their 200th year – we have only managed 20 so far!
The wonderful team from The Old Vic came to us equipped with ideas, design directions and colour references which enabled us to go that extra step further, and engage our stitchers in the design process. This isn’t always possible when working in prisons – limited access to resources and time constraints create restrictions - and so when the opportunity arises we grab it with both hands. We were able to provide a clear brief, a selection of materials to sample and the artwork for ‘Dare, Always Dare’ (a quote which holds great meaning to the Theatre and can be found hung above their bar, in neon) directly to our prison workshop. In record time they returned a selection of machine-embroidered samples, employing a variety of fonts, stitches, colours and material choices. To say we were all blown away is an understatement. Our workshop took up the challenge with enthusiasm and unparalleled professionalism. It was a difficult choice to be made between all their work, but The Old Vic managed to hone in on the best outcome for the brief. The rest as they say is history! What a pleasing way to celebrate a very happy event.