ELECTION TIME (?)

As you have probably heard by now:
“Australia appears set for a double-dissolution federal election on July 2 after the government’s bill to restore the Australian Building and Construction Commission failed to pass the Senate – again.” – The Conversation 

Late last year I made a gift for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull – a Wagga quilt adorned with 121 hand stitched messages for the PM from over 100 Australian citizens who contributed to this project. When I reached out and asked people to contribute their messages for the PM my promise to them was that I would ensure the quilt gets to him. PM-PLZ-Quilt.jpg

Over the past few months I’ve been exploring many different avenues to get this quilt to Turnbull: I’ve tried mailing and emailing his office, reaching out on social media, getting in touch with people who know him, local politicians, his neighbours, friends of friends etc. all to no avail. Mostly, those who know and are in contact with Turnbull are reluctant to bring this project up, reluctant to ask him if he would be willing to receive this gift in case it would be a breach of protocol.
However, on the plus side the quilt is due to go up at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka in July for 7 weeks. The plan was to send him a formal invitation to attend the exhibition from the museum and give the quilt to him at the end of the seven week installation.  However, it is now apparent that will be AFTER the election, meaning there is a chance Turnbull will no longer be PM…
So, once again I am reaching out to you my friends and fellow citizens: I need your help in getting our gift to Turnbull’s. If you know how to get hold of him, if you can ask him whether he would be willing to accept this gift – I will fly anywhere in the country in order to hand this quilt over to him.
Can you help?

Above are a few examples of the 121 messages hand stitched onto this quilt.

 

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PM Please – Press Release

PM Please

Press Release – 9 November 2015 

Craftivist works with local community to make Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull a unique gift. 

With (another) new Prime Minister in office and a federal election less than 12 months away now seems like as good a time as any to reach out and tell our political leaders what’s important to us. Artist Tal Fitzpatrick has come up with a unique way to get our messages across to the prime minister instead of barraging him with letters, emails and tweets…

As part of HillsceneLIVE pop-up art festival in Monbulk VIC (30/10/2015) textile artist and craftivist (craft/activist) Tal Fitzpatrick, along with the help of 23 festival goers and over 80 online contributors, turned a pile of second-hand ties and suit swatches into a special gift for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull – a quilted wall hanging adorned with 121 hand-stitched messages to the prime minister, each beginning with the words PM Please.

“For me this socially engaged art project is not simply an attempt to reach out to the PM in order to have our voices heard or to make demands– it is an expression of hope and reciprocity. People have big ideas about Australia’s future and they want to work with our political leaders in order achieve positive change.” – said Ms.Fitzpatrick

Over the three weeks this project took to complete Tal, with the help of HillsceneLIVE festival goers, hand-stitched every single message she received without making any exceptions, changes or omissions. Then she pieced these messages together with her appliqué quilted portrait of the Malcolm Turnbull to make a quilted hanging (2.08mX1.66m).

“The act of giving a gift made by hand is a sincere gesture of generosity. I hope that upon receiving this quilt Malcolm Turnbull is moved and takes the time to reflect on and consider all the messages stitched onto it.” – said Ms.Fitzpatrick

Now that the quilt is finished Tal is trying to find the best way to give this gift to the prime minister on behalf of everyone who took part in this socially engaged art project. Can you help get this quilt to Malcolm Turnbull by writing or sharing a story about this project?

Contact Tal Fitzpatrick: E: tal.fitzpatrick@gmail.com | Instagram/Twitter: @talfitzpatrick | W: http://www.talfitzpatrick.wordpress.com | http://www.praxialpractice.wordpress.com

   

   

   

About: Tal Fitzpatrick is a Melbourne based artist and a 2nd year PhD candidate at the Victorian College for the Arts, Melbourne University. Tal works in the mediums of textile art and socially engaged art.  

 

“PM Please” – Project Update

With (another) new Prime Minister in office and a federal election less than 12 months away now seems like as good a time as any to reach out and tell our political leaders what’s important to us… and what better way to do that then by hand stitching messages onto a quilted portrait of our Prime Minister!? 

In early October I successfully pritched my “PM Please” project to HillsceneLIVE art festival, which was held on the 31st of October in Monbulk, Victoria. My pitch was this: I want to make Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull a gift – a quilt made out of suit swatches and ties embroided with messages from people which I will collect both at the festival and via social media.

After being accepted I sent a call out via my social media for people to send me their short messages for the prime minister that start with the words ‘PM Please’ for me to stitch and on the day of HillsceneLIVE festival goers had the opportunity to stitch their own messages. Importantly, at the very start of the project I pledged to include all the messages I was given by people in the quilt without any exceptions, alterations or censorship. 

The following documents the progress of this project so far, including: a list of all 121 messages I was sent from people both at HillsceneLIVE and via social media, images from HillsceneLIVE art festival where people were invited to stitch their own messages for the PM by hand, and detailed shots of many of the embroidered messages on the quilt. The first photo below is of the quilt top which is now ready to be quilted and bound. After that is done all that needs to happen is to find a way to get it to Malcolm Turnbull….  

      

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Images from HillsceneLIVE festival, Monbulk VIC.   

 
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Detailed images of the embroidered messages on the quilt: 

  
    
    
  

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The full list of messges I collected via social media and as part of the HillsceneLIVE art festival in Monbulk, Victoria  
1. #PMPLZ put the environment first. 
2. #PMPLZ stop coal mining ruining our future. 
3. #PMPLZ end mandatory offshore detention.  
4. #PMPLZ prioritise preventative healthcare.  
5. #PMPLZ save the Syrian refugees 
6. #PMPLZ legalise same sex marriage.  
7. #PMPLZ decriminalise abortion.  
8. #PMPLZ address the human rights abuses of our country, particularly with regard to asylum seekers.  
9. #PMPLZ improve mental health services in Australia. Particularly in rural areas.   
10. #PMPLZ invest in renewable energy.  
11. #PMPLZ let your actions speak louder than campaign promises  
12. #PMPLZ decriminalise sex work. 
13. #PMPLZ ban live animal exports   
14. #PMPLZ accept my conditional thanks. Now repair Abbott’s actions. 
15. #PMPLZ don’t disappoint us.  
16. #PMPLZ govern for people not corporations.  
17. #PMPLZ ban plastic bags now. 
18. #PMPLZ restore the arts funding  
19. #PMPLZ take care of our refugees and asylum seekers  
20. #PMPLZ don’t deprive refugee children of a normal life 
21. #PMPLZ listen to us 
22. #PMPLZ take global warming seriously  
23. #PLZPLZ keep children out of detention. 
24. #PMPLZ put a price on carbon   
25. #PMPLZ stop so many women being murdered by their partners   
26. #PMPLZ put food before mines  
27. #PMPLZ no nanny state   
28. #PMpPLZ value our indigenous peoples’ ways of knowing.   
29. #PMPLZ legalise medicinal marijuana         
30. #PMPLZ protect sacred sites  
31. #PMPLZ end welfare quarantining  
32. #PMPLZ acknowledge Indigenous sovereignty 
33. #PMPLZ tax the wealthy not the poor  
34. #PMPLZ protect the Great Barrier Reef 
35. #PMPLZ protect our oceans from overfishing  
36. #PMPLZ respect the CSIRO  
37. #PMPLZ support the state education system  
38. #PMPLZ please keep our penalty rates 
39. #PMPLZ keep our privacy private  
40. #PMPLZ end mandatory data retention  
41. #PMPLZ stop taxing our periods  
42. #PMPLZ make us proud 
43. #PMPLZ ensure the national roll out of the disability insurance scheme 
44. #PMPLZ stop modelling Australia after America, or we will end up with the same kind of homelessness 
45. #PMPLZ increase the money we spend on international aid  
46. #PMPLZ set serious targets for reducing carbon emissions 
47. #PMPLZ legislate marriage equality.    
48. #PMPLZ make same-sex marriage legal.  
49. #PMPLZ allow people in love to get married. 
50. #PMPLZ support full adoption rights for same-sex couples.  
51. #PMPLZ don’t waste money on a plebiscite 
52. #PMLZ abandon the unnecessary and damaging changes to arts sector funding.  
53. #PMPLZ restore arts funding. 
54. #PMPLZ understand artists need funding and encouragement 
55. #PMPLZ stop animal factory farming    
56. #PMPLZ end live animal export  
57. #PMPLZ care for our water 
58. #PMPLZ re-instate the carbon tax 
59. #PMPLZ roll out a national container deposit scheme. 
60. #PMPLZ establish the Great Forest National Park  
61. #PMPLZ consider green energies and a blue economy  
62. PMPLZ ban CSG mining  
63. #PMPLZ legislate voluntary euthanasia 
64. #PMPLZ celebrate Australian multiculturalism.  
65. #PMPLZ I want a humanitarian government. 
66. #PMPLZ have a greater consciousness than any before. 
67. #PMPLZ seek justice, love and mercy. 
68. #PMPLZ increase the supply of suitable affordable housing  
69. #PMPLZ end homelessness 
70. #PMPLZ remember that whistleblowers should be protected not prosecuted  
71. #PMPLZ treat refugees as people too  
72. #PMPLZ ensure better planning for infrastructure in remote indigenous communities. 
73. #PMPLZ have zero tolerance for all forms of discrimination  
74. #PMPLZ respect traditional owners land rights, beliefs and values.  
75. #PMPLZ resign 
76. #PMPLZ let love in 
77. #PMPLZ let us have a conversation.  
78. #PMPLZ fight for the workplace rights of our medical professional.  
79. #PMPLZ roll back ‘security’ measures that infringe on our civil rights   
80. #PMPLZ keep your hands off our metadata 
81. #PMPLZ visit Emerald for a cuppa and chat  
82. #PMPLZ adopt an Australian bill of rights  
83. #PMPLZ print more money so we can all be better off  
84. #PMPLZ support our seafarers  
85. #PMPLZ invest in a shipbuilding industry   
86. #PMPLZ help end poverty worldwide  
87. #PMPLZ lift alcohol restrictions in rural communities and allow them to regulate their own consumption  
88. #PMPLZ update the animal welfare act in all states 
89. #PMPLZ let the boats in, everyone is human  
90. #PMPLZ help close the gap  
91. #PMPLZ help preserve aboriginal sacred sites 
92. #PMPLZ put an end to domestic violence  
93. #PMPLZ put people before the economy  
94. #PMPLZ keep university accessible to all  
95. #PMPLZ what tragedy happened to you that you can hear the voice of money but are deaf to to humanity and the cries of mother earth  
96. #PMPLZ don’t be afraid to risk your political career in order to make a difference  
97. #PMPLZ address gender inequality  
98. #PMPLZ care for our environment  
99. #PMPLZ lead the world in compassion 
100. #PMPLZ Stay out of my business 
101. #PMPLZ create an equal society for all  
102. #PMPLZ learn compassion 
103. #PMPLZ don’t be shit  
104. #PMPLZ end animal cruelty  
105. #PMPLZ remember the bees  
106. #PMPLZ tax Gina  
107. #PMPLZ wage peace  
108. #PMPLZ be honest 
109. #PMPLZ speak respectfully of your opposition  
110. #PMPLZ ban cage eggs 
111. #PMPLZ ban horse racing  
112. #PMPLZ treat refugees with respect  
113. #PMPLZ abolish uni fees 
114. #PMPLZ ban factory farming 
115. #PMPLZ empty the tanks  
116. #PMPLZ support the arts  
117. #PMPLZ share your wealth  
118. #PMPLZ tax the wealthy not the poor  
119. #PMPLZ help us are with dignity, increase aged care funding  
120. #PMPLZ respect us, represent us, good luck    
121. #PMPLZ just stop eroding common law  

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More images of the embroidered messages 
      
    
    
    
    
        
   

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My full PhD Confirmation Report

As promised here is my full PhD Confirmation Report, submitted in April 2015
as a PDF document:
Confirmation-Report-Tal-Fitzpatrick-2015

Alternatively, below is the Title/Research Question/Abstract for all those of you who “aint got time fo’dat!”

Research Title:                 Craftivism and the Political Moment

Research Question:         Can craftivism create Political Moments?

Sub Questions:

  • How is craftivism different from other forms of activism?
  • Can a material, craft based practice such as craftivism be understood as a socially engaged art?
  • In light of a post-political critique of participation is it possible to initiate political moments through socially engaged artistic practices?
  • How do feminist new materialist and post-humanist conceptions of agency and matter reshape our understanding of power and the potential of art to enact social change?

Abstract:

This practice-led research project is shaped by an artistic practice that plays in the spaces between craft, socially engaged art, activism, community development and autoethnography. It looks to explore how a particular style of figurative appliqué quilting might be used to initiate what philosopher Jacques Rancière describes as ‘political moments’ in a post-political environment. Through a series of creative case studies delivered in and with different community groups and organisations, this project will test the material-discursive potential of appliqué quilting to act as a socially engaged strategy for activism.

Importantly, this project doesn’t aim to develop a set of tools for leading revolutions or even to create a methodology where outcomes can be reliably repeated. Instead it looks to develop a practice based methodology for becoming more mindful of the patterns of consequential differences and of the overlapping ideas between: art, craft, activism, socially engaged practice, feminist new materialisms, post-political critique, post-humanism and community development theory.

However, if anyone actually does read my full report – I would love to hear your thoughts, feedback, reading suggestions, artists I should know about and constructive criticism. As always you can get in touch with me via email: tal.fitzpatrick@gmail.com

Finally – just for fun, below are some of my powerpoint slides from my PhD Confirmation presentation.

Cheers

Tal

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PhD CONFIRMATION – 10 days to go

FU-tal-fitzpatrick

It’s now ten days until my PhD confirmation, which is the first major hurdle I have to get through in order to formalise my PhD candidature with the VCA . For those of you who are in Melbourne you are welcomed to attend my presentation which is scheduled to happen at VCA on Thursday the 16th of April, at 1pm (Room 216). For those of you who are interested by can’t be there keep an eye on the blog as I’ll put up my slides and some highlights from my speech afterwards. For now, here is my official up to date title and abstract:

Craftivism and the Political Moment

Grounded in a feminist history of using craft as a strategy for activism and using a new materialist/posthumanist conceptual framework, this practice-led research project will explore how craftivism can be used to create what political theorist and philosopher Jacques Rancière describes as ‘political moments’ in a post-political environment.

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