Traces: Stories of Migration is an exhibition that explores personal and family migration stories through the experiences of people affected by migration and the memories accumulated along these journeys. Traces was initiated by professor and artist Lucy Orta to explore creative practice and textile crafts as a storytelling device to visualise the movement of people. The project invites communities to create textile-based artworks recalling a trajectory, drawing out stories of their heritage, and particularly overlooked women’s histories. This exhibition showcases a selection of the textile artifacts realised during workshops led by Lucy in collaboration with Poplar Works and London College of Fashion during the pandemic. The workshops brought together first, second and third-generation women and men from London’s East End between April to June 2021. In their translation of stories into artefacts, the artists wove a landscape of narrative threads which not only relate to London or Poplar, but to each other. The works represent individual experiences but reflect a universal journey in five stages: brighter future, conflict, cultural mix, feeling home, and finally, memories. These are stages of life we all encounter at some point, and highlight connections between all Londoners. The exhibition is organised in collaboration with the London College of Fashion’s Making for Change, Poplar Works, University of the Arts London, the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, and Fitzrovia Noir.

Untitled work by Clare, 2021

Photo by Adam Razvi

Wearing my heritage by Isabel, 2021

Photo by Adam Razvi

Bittersweet Symphony by Olivia, 2021

Photo Adam Razvi

Front view of Making Space Gallery

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