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‘Jo Boxhall’s Football Boots’, created by Melanie Tomlinson

Home Ground is a project initiated by Devon Guild of Craftsmen, which celebrates through a contemporary touring exhibition and participation programme, the cultural heritage of six National League Football Clubs that originated from a local crafts trade tradition.

The football clubs involved have long-established nicknames from the local craft industries that have shaped the community and locality. Macclesfield Town – “The Silkmen”, Walsall Town – “ The Saddlers”, Luton Town – “The Hatters”, Crystal Palace – “The Glaziers, Sheffield United –“The Blades” from the city’s worldwide reputation for steel production. Stoke City, “The Potters”, reflects one of England’s greatest industries having been the centre for ceramics production since the 17th century.

Home Ground craft clubs football_Facebook_Devon Guild_LOGOSCOMB

The exhibition ‘Home Ground’  at Devon Guild of Craftsmen is a showcase of work from contemporary craft practitioners who use locally distinct and sourced materials to produce work that reflects and sustains their locality and its culture.

‘Home Ground’ has been on  tour to the six locations acting as a catalyst for a participation programme with communities in and around each football club. Working with a contemporary artist using each locally distinct craft and inspired by local heritage, participants will create an authentic “souvenir” in partnership with Industry and cultural partners and organisations.

The Home Ground Tour Dates

Locations  
Sheffield  10th April – 11th June 2015
Macclesfield 19th June – 5th Sept 2015
Stoke 14th Sept – 25th Nov 2015
Walsall 22nd Jan 2016 – 29th Jan 2016
Luton 5th Feb – 31st March 2016
Crystal Palace 8th April – 31st May 2016

The “souvenirs” created together with pieces commissioned from the artists with whom they have worked will form a celebratory touring exhibition ‘Souvenirs from Home’ which will launch in Devon in September 2016 and then tour  to the six locations to tell the story and celebrate the unique characteristics of each place through its clubs, craft and communities.

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About Devon Guild of Craftsmen and Common Ground

Devon Guild of Craftsmen

Devon Guild of Craftsmen (DGC) is the leading contemporary crafts organisation in the South West, seeking to inspire creative excellence and to create opportunities for everyone to learn through making. Our organisation’s outreach education programme has been established for over 20 years, offering opportunities for community groups, schools and colleges to experience making with professional artists and craftspeople. We also support makers through the provision of a membership scheme, exhibitions, retail spaces, events and development opportunities.

DGC works in partnership with regional, national and international makers, audiences, venues and a diverse range of organisations to push the boundaries and perceptions around contemporary crafts practice. We aim to initiate programmes of work which stimulate artistic excellence, critical thinking and understanding of contemporary crafts in the widest social and cultural contexts, using the story of craft to strengthen communities by connecting people and places.

The Home Ground project takes it concept from Common Ground, a Dorset based organisation which is renowned in the fields of art and the environment – linking nature with culture Devon Guild of Craftsmen (DGC) has been working to develop an exhibition celebrating artists who are concerned with local distinctiveness and value their sense of place. Common Ground advocates a re-working of souvenirs, using local materials and craftspeople, resulting in products which reclaim a sense of locality, its nature and culture and act as meaningful ambassadors. The ‘authenticity’ of such work also feeds back into the local economy.

Since we developed our association with Common Ground, the directors have retired and DGC is allowed to use the intellectual rights to this idea.

More information about Devon Guild of Craftsmen can be found at www.crafts.org.uk

Common Ground

Common Ground is a charity that explores the relationship between nature and culture through music, sculpture, poetry, film, markets, photography, architecture, gardening, publishing and pamphleteering. The idea of Local Distinctiveness, pioneered in 1985 by our co-founders Sue Clifford and Angela King, percolates through everything we do. We believe that people can make a positive difference to their own localities and we want to inspire them to get involved in the life of their local environment. We champion democratic involvement and believe that celebration is a starting point for action to conserve, enrich and improve the quality of everyday places.

Common Ground was founded in 1983 by Sue Clifford, Angela King and Roger Deakin. Based in London’s Covent Garden and later in Shaftesbury, Dorset, their intention was to act as a catalyst for change in people’s attitude to nature and the land. At the time, they were concerned by the way in which conservation was becoming increasingly elitist and abstracted from day to day life. Surely the places on our doorstep, however ordinary, deserved to be protected as well? And what about those aspects of the land and of our culture that suggest an age-old intertwining of human life and the natural world? A drystone wall, a May Day fair, a field name, a holloway, an orchard: such things, they felt, by their very nature, celebrated a history shared between us and the land, one that was vulnerable to the footloose excesses of development.

Poets, painters, sculptors, essayists and composers have always played an important role in shaping the way we feel about the land, so why not reopen this dialogue? Common Ground set out to re-capture the public imagination through the arts, and began to put some of the big questions about our relationship with nature to these contemporary artists in an attempt to ‘learn with them’. Projects like Apple DayNew Milestones and Parish Maps began inspiring hundreds of communities all over the country and unearthed very strong feelings of attachment and belonging, to local history, to language, nature, architecture, folklore, and to the landscape of places.

More information about Common Ground can be found at http://www.commonground.org.uk

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