Artist: Deirdre Nelson

An embroidered map of Glasgow.

Deirdre Nelson, Guild Of Commoning. (Photo: Eoin Carey)
Nettle and cotton fabric, natural dyed eco cotton, hand dyed and embroidered.

For the exhibition Deirdre has created a ‘Guild of Commoning’ to celebrate the acts of commoning within 2km of her flat in Glasgow. The map identifies community led organisations that run on the exchange of skills or resources. The mapping starts with Deirdre’s own tenement flats. During the first lockdown she was reminded how shared hallways, gardens and responsibilities resulted in regular acts of commoning. This included food and book sharing. At the heart of this invented guild is the belief that commoning is social. A thriving community relies on a shared understanding that we take care of each other. The pieces are embroidered using eco cotton dyed with plants foraged from Deirdre’s local park using a couching technique found in gold work.

Map your Commons

Have a go at Deirdre Nelson’s making project.

Share your act of commoning by posting a picture of your project using #WeAreCommoners and tag us on instagramtwitter or facebook. If you prefer, you can email a picture to us at [email protected] and we can share it for you.

Instructions for making.

Click on the image to download the PDF instructions.

Watch the video below to see Rosanna take on the Map your Commons activity.

Watch Deirdre making her work and talking about the ideas behind it in this video blog

Taken from the Crafting the Commons exhibition research blog.

Links to the commoning projects being mapped by Deirdre

A small embroidered circular token
A small embroidered circular token
A small embroidered circular token
A small embroidered circular token
holding skeins of cotton.

Deirdre Nelson, Guild Of Commoning Badges and eco cotton naturally died using locally foraged plants. (Photos: Eoin Carey)

Where Next?

Artist: Gelawesh Waledkhani and Lise Bjørne Linnert

Collaborating with undocumented migrants in Norway.

Learning resource: Healing

Thinking about how artists use materials and skills.

A leaf has been decorated with embroidery stitches.

Become a commoner

Learn more about commons.

Rehearsing the dance. Two adults roll in the long grass, their legs and arms in the air.

Artist: Alice McLean and Justine Boussard

Campaigning to protect community assets.

A silver token, like a big coin.


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