Prince Charles has given his support to an art installation to provide blankets for homeless community.
People throughout Scotland with a talent for knitting are being invited to contribute to an art installation set to be draped over an Ayrshire landmark before being taken apart to provide warm blankets for homeless people in Glasgow.
As part of an initiative to promote training in sewing and textiles, The Prince’s Foundation yesterday [Sunday 19 January] brought together members of the community around its headquarters at Dumfries House to produce a patchwork masterpiece.
The charity’s president HRH The Prince of Wales was in attendance to meet those taking part. The large artwork, measuring 112m x 3m will be installed on the A-listed Adam Bridge, a structure built in 1760 that lies at the heart of the Dumfries House estate, then used to create smaller blankets which will be donated to charity for members of the homeless community in Scotland.
Members of Cumnock Rugby Club and Dumfries House-based craft classes, as well as school pupils and members of local Boys’ Brigade and brownies groups, made a start on knitting squares under the expert guidance of Dumfries House staff who run education and community programmes to promote skills needed by Scotland’s fashion and textiles industry.
Classes and workshops at Dumfries House range from Future Textiles initiatives designed to encourage secondary school pupils to pursue related qualifications and careers to social get-togethers such as Knitwise, which comprises local adults who are keen knitters and complete beginners.
Ashleigh Douglas, future textiles manager, said: ‘We already engage with so many members of Ayrshire communities through our regular classes at Dumfries House, but it was so heartening to see even those with no previous experience in knitting getting to grips with it and contributing to what we hope will prove a significant and worthwhile piece of work. The aim was to encourage more people to knit and enjoy a wellbeing afternoon with the social interaction of like-minded people or to introduce people to a new craft.
‘The group are knitting squares using a variety of techniques to allow beginners and advanced level knitters to work on the same project. These will all get joined together to create a community artwork that will form a textile installation on the Adam Bridge. The group has thoroughly enjoyed exploring colour, pattern, yarns and techniques.’
Contributions towards the artwork can be sent to Ashleigh by post to Future Textiles, Dumfries House, Cumnock, KA18 2NJ by the end of March.
Knitwise groups meet fortnightly at the Health and Wellbeing Centre on Dumfries House estate. School staff interested in finding out more about Future Textiles and other education programmes on the estate should email firstname.lastname@example.org
The chief objective of The Prince’s Foundation is to create harmonious communities. The charity aims to achieve this by developing and managing places to visit, running a diverse education curriculum for all ages with particular focus on traditional and heritage skills, and offering employment, most notably at its headquarters at Dumfries House in Ayrshire and in London.
Its activity spans the world, with education programmes and placemaking initiatives in Europe, Africa, and Asia. In East Ayrshire, The Prince’s Foundation is one of the largest employers with more than 200 staff.