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'knit the walls'
In 2018 SFW: Shorts, Southampton Film Week's own short film competition, received a submission from it's youngest ever filmmaker, 13 year old Imogen Dunlop. The film was a documentary about the wonderful community project knit the walls. Against stiff competition Imogen won the hearts of the audience and won the Audience Award at the SFW: Shorts Screening and Awards Ceremony. As the 'knit the walls project' neared completion, Imogen, now 17, suggested to sarah, the artist and inspiration behind the project, that she make another film, this time about the project's conclusion. Both Imogen's original film and her new film will be installed in God's House Tower from 11 November until 4 December. On Sunday 13 November sarah and Imogen will come together for a conversation about the project and the films. You are invited to join them. It's sure to be a lovely event, discussing how inspiring and empowering the 'knit the walls' project has been to the local community. This is a FREE event and no booking is required.
After more than three million knitted stitches, thousands of hours of warm conversation and countless shared stories, as well as many hundreds of cups of tea and a lot of cake, the six-year ‘knit the walls’ community-focused art project will come to an end this November. ‘knit the walls’ is a co-created community art project, conceived and led by Southampton-based artist sarah filmer, working alongside city residents in the production of a knitted version of the city’s medieval walls. The project emerged from the realisation that whilst the walls have silently witnessed the everyday lives of millions of the city’s residents over hundreds of years, the stories we hear of the city’s past describe the big events, those of national and international importance. And yet we each live our own day-to-day existence, with small occurrences and personal stories comprising our individual lived experiences – often of no interest or consequence to anyone but ourselves and those close to us.
Since 2016, the work has seen an ever-growing, evolving community of contributors come together each month at God’s House Tower and other venues, bringing together hundreds of knitters from across Southampton’s diverse communities and beyond. ‘knit the walls’ has offered a space to gather, knit, to be creative, or just to chat, laugh, and be surrounded by community. In recent months, the project has evolved further through the creation of other knitted objects, the outcomes of which will feature in the final exhibition, launching at GHT on Friday 11th November. Just as the stone walls hold the stories of the city, household objects hold our personal stories, and knitters have been encouraged to bring items and encase them with stitches, to contribute to a woollen ‘front room’ complete with knitted wallpaper, that will feature in the final exhibition.
sarah filmer is an artist based in Southampton, England. she is an associate lecturer in fine art at Solent university. Her practice research interests include the articulation of women’s stories via shared activity, with ‘knit the walls’ revisioning recorded history through a feminist lens.
Imogen Dunlop studies film and media video production at Barton Peveril Sixth Form College. Imogen describes herself as having ‘been a creative person my whole life and have been creating stories since i learned to write’. Imogen has described her filmmaking journey below:
“i went up to sarah and asked if i could make a documentary about knit the walls. at this point it had only been going for about a year, but she was happy for me to run around with my camera and try it out. my dad helped me with the editing and the technical stuff and then boom! my first film was born. not only was my first film born, but i then managed to win the Audience Choice award at Southampton Film Week in 2018, when i was just 13 years old.”
GHT will host a launch event for the ‘knit the walls’ finale on Friday 11th November from 6pm – 8pm. Tickets to the launch are free and available on Eventbrite here.
is run by film charity Charity Number 1089882