The Crickhowell High Street Stitch-Up began in 2004 as part of an Arts Alive Wales development project. We asked our artists to find a community art project that would be ambitious, exciting and fun but meaningful and relevant to Crickhowell. Lisa Hellier, who had already made a map of the town, came up with the ‘High Street Stitch Up’, a textile mapping project to depict the heart of our town, basing the overall design on her own map. Lisa provided the templates for all the buildings, but all the work you see on the panels is that of the participants themselves.
All the work on the panels is that of the participants themselves who have rendered their own ideas into a fantastic and tactile display. Each panel is bordered by squares and panels depicting the surrounding landscape and its skies are populated by a heaven of actual townspeople from earlier times. Participants of all ages and abilities were given the freedom to depict their contribution as they wished at whatever level of skill they felt comfortable with. This has led to an exciting mixed media finish, which includes examples of collage, machine stitching, embroidery, cross stitch, knitting, patchwork, quilting and weaving.
The first panel was produced in 2004-05, this first panel depicts the West side of the High Street from Webbs of Crickhowell to Latham House. The second panel was produced in 2005/06, this panel depicts the East side of the High Street from F E Richards to the Dragon Hotel. In 2007 work began on a children’s panel to depict Beaufort Street, the part of the A40 that runs through the centre of the town.
During 2004-2007, over 600 people have been involved in the project, and we would like to extend our congratulations and thanks to everyone who took part. Special thanks to our dedicated team of helpers and volunteers and to Jan Winstanley who patiently assisted the project throughout with her vast technical knowledge of textiles and stitching. The panels have a home at Oriel CRiC Gallery above the tourist information Centre in Crickhowell and Arts Alive would like to thank CRiC directors and staff, and the Gallery for their support.
All three panels have been supported by funding by Arts Council of Wales and the Sustainable Development Fund of the Brecon Beacons National Park.