18 at heart (2020)
18 at Heart was a collaborative art project run by Woolly Mammoth Stitch Works CIC in Selly Oak Constituency in 2020.
A team of community stitchers crafted more than 670 unique tapestry hearts for a ‘yarn bomb’ of Birmingham’s no.18 bus route which runs through Billesley, Brandwood, Molyhull, Kings Norton North, and through Masefield in Bournville and Cotteridge ward to Northfield.
The majority of hearts were stitched during the national lockdown, March-June 2020. Collectively the stitchers have contributed around 1500 volunteer hours!
Alongside stitching, we shared memories of being aged 18. (Scroll down!)
While our stitch team enjoyed some creative activity during the pandemic, the artwork is also about lifting other people’s spirits and spreading positivity. It was stitched for smiles along 5.5 miles! The yarn-bombing is all about unleashing the artistic rebel in us as well.
A huge thank you to everyone who has taken part and to Selly Oak Neighbourhood Network Scheme for funding the project and supporting us along the way.
"Getting to the Heart of it"
Due to ongoing covid-19 restrictions during 2020-21, the outdoor display of the artworks was delayed until July 2021. However, after the stitching was complete, we felt it was important to celebrate the achievements and talents of the stitch team whilst the project was on hold due to the pandemic, so we also made a digital stop frame animation artwork and a catalogue (below).
This project is funded through Neighbourhood Networks; a scheme which is about encouraging people who are retired, or in the lead up to retirement, to build up their social networks, keep active, and feel more connected in the areas they live.