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: firstname.lastname@example.org | 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.
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….
Images from HillsceneLIVE festival, Monbulk VIC.
Detailed images of the embroidered messages on the quilt:
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
More images of the embroidered messages
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?
- 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?
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: email@example.com
Finally – just for fun, below are some of my powerpoint slides from my PhD Confirmation presentation.
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.