Craft and the Commons

Craft and the Commons

(working title)


Amy Twigger-Holroyd, Reknit Spectrum Samples (Photo: Amy Twigger-Holroyd)

Touring exhibition (in development)
Launching at Midlands Arts Centre
September 2020

We are asking for expressions of interest from artists and venues.

“The commons means: Things we share/ Places we share/ Systems we share/ Ideas we share/ Culture we share” Peter Barnes, On the Commons co-founder

Craft can join the campaign to make a powerful commentary on what society stands to gain from acting to protect and reclaim our global commons. Through new commissions and the lens of craft, making and materials – makers can highlight the issues, contribute their thought leadership and participate in a call to action.

Why the commons?

We are currently witnessing the increasing privatisation of publicly owned assets in the UK. Many areas are experiencing the erosion of local common resources (e.g. parks and

Some countercultural movements that have emerged in recent decades have begun to challenge corporate forms of enclosure. They champion the sharing economy, peer to peer economy, open source and social charters to reclaim the commons.

In ‘Mapping the New Commons’ Charlotte Hess suggests that divergent disciplines, political interests, and geographical regions are increasingly finding the term ‘commons’ crucial in addressing issues of social dilemmas, degradation, and sustainability of a wide variety of shared resources.

Historian Peter Linebaugh has popularised the term ‘commoning’ which in modern times is about activating the power of social cooperation to get things done.

Commons leader Julie Ristau describes how “the act of commoning draws on a network of relationships made under the expectation that we will each take care of one another and with a shared understanding that some things belong to all of us. The practice of commoning demonstrates a shift in thinking from the prevailing ethic of “you’re on your own” to “we’re in this together.”

Get involved

Artist’s can download an expression of interest form below. Please ignore deadline dates, we are still welcoming expressions of interest.
Venues interested in hiring the exhibition can download the info sheet here.


Where Next?

A small vase: broken pieces are covered in decorative fabric and stitched back together in the original shape.

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