The Big Weave
Community Artist In Residence, Sandy Spring Museum,
You have probably
heard the expression the social fabric of the community but did you ever think
about it in literal terms? The Big Weave, an interactive community-created work of art,
was a metaphor for bringing together diverse elements of the Sandy Spring neighborhood and
weaving them together to create a single fabric. If you consider all the individual
members of a community as threads, the social fabric is made by having those
members interact, thus weaving the threads together.
I was tasked with designing a structure that would allow for the participation of anyone
with a desire to weave. The other requirement was that the installation would allow for
the incorporation of many types of materials. Traditional weaving materials like yarn and
strips of fabric were provided, but also nontraditional materials like mardi gras beads.
People contributed mementos: ties, lanyards, t-shirts, even a photograph. We had weavers
from pre-school to elders. Weavers came from assorted school groups, religious groups,
special interest clubs, weavers from all sectors of the Sandy Spring community. From many
diverse threads comes one vibrant, beautiful community.