Art and Revolution - Raising the Red Flag
For the symposium at Dunedin's School of Art 2017
Series of tea-towel-flags with broom-flag-pole
broom and 100% cotton
Definition of red flag in Merriam-Webster
1.: a warning signal or sign
2.: something that indicates or draws attention to a problem, danger, or irregularity
I see the need for more local production and local people taking control over the
wellbeing of their communities. Weaving is my mode of production and weaving
has been at the centre of a few revolutions before, the industrial revolution and
the digital revolution to name just a couple.
From the exhibition catalogue:
The British New Economics Foundation states in their agenda for change:
"Our economy has become one where wealth and power increasingly come not from
producing useful products or services but from controlling assets: money, land, natural
resources, and now the raw material of the digital age, data."
This is an economy where the average house makes more each year than the
average worker. It is an economy where most bank loans are made not to
support small businesses, but to enable people to buy these houses, serving only
to further inflate the housing bubble.
I am weaving tea towels in Dunedin, NZ, while teaching the skill to others. I
want to raise awareness about the problems we are facing in our society; where
we have forgotten that money should be a tool to achieve wellbeing for people,
and not the destination itself. The red flag is according to Merriam Webster:
a warning sign: a sign that there is a problem that should be noticed or dealt with.
I see in our times a mass occurrence of systems collapsing, be it weather, ecology,
economics, education, or production... I am raising the towels as flags from a
broom stick to signal that everybody in their little domestic circle can start doing
things. I want to challenge the understanding of wealth and value. Selling a tea
towel here for $50 is putting the money directly back into the local economy.
This item will be valued. This is the third time I am using tea towels in an Art
show and I am deliberately giving this same, but modified, object new
appearances to show my resilience and that my objects are part of a programme.
I am working in my own little way towards a new economy.