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Eco Creative Cluster conversations series #004 “Textiles in the Colours of Yubari” Nanako Suzuki (Yubari, Japan)

Posted by CHARTS


29/05/2021 11:00


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Join us for the fourth of Eco Creative Cluster's “conversations with artists” series. This series explores and connects different practitioners and practices working in specific localities with a similar focus on nature-based materials and dyeing techniques.

Facilitated by Oban-based curator Naoko Mabon, we will be speaking to Nanako Suzuki, a designer who lives and works in Japan. Nanako will talk about her recent textile-making project that she carried out in Yubari City, where Nanako was born and lived until she was eight years old. The project involved a natural dye with stems and leaves of Yubari Melon, the region's specialty. Nanako’s presentation will be followed by a live Q&A session.

“Textiles in the Colours of Yubari” is a project by designer Nanako Suzuki, supported by Shimizusawa Project and various local community members in Yubari, Japan. To explore the question “What kind of connection can a designer make with a certain community?” in her graduation piece, Nanako, a final year design student of Aichi University of the Arts then, returned to her childhood hometown Yubari, a former coal mining city in Hokkaido, the northernmost prefecture of Japan. Aiming to reflect various aspects of Yubari, Nanako began by staying in the area, listening to people’s stories, and collaborating with community members such as place makers, creative practitioners, farmers, and a knitting group of elderly ladies. One textile was made by natural dyeing with stems and leaves of the local speciality Yubari Melon, while the other was made by screenprint visualising landscapes of Yubari’s coal mining heritage and stories and memories collected from people. The resulting textiles were shared for free with Yubari community members with one condition: make something with them and report how it went. 

Eco Creative Cluster is a project focusing on nature-based materials and dyeing techniques. It involves developing a Dye Garden with Oban-based textile artist Deborah Gray and local volunteers in the grounds of The Rockfield Centre, a newly refurbished cultural and heritage hub located in the heart of Oban. The produce of the dye garden will be used in workshops and artworks using techniques such as Natural Dyeing, Ecoprinting and Shibori. In parallel, with Oban-based curator Naoko Mabon, the project also aims to weave a wider network of practitioners working across different localities in the world, with a sustainable and ecological approach, which will generate further collaborations locally, nationally and internationally. Led by The Rockfield Centre, Eco Creative Cluster is supported by the CHArts Place Makers: Micro-cluster Networks programme, in partnership with the Innovation School at Glasgow School of Art, funded by Creative Scotland.


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