'Stitching Traditions' is an exhibition created by members of the Anand Mangal ladies group, who have spent the last eight months exploring heritage and culture through Leicestershire County Council’s community curators programme.
The group, who are mainly over 60 and are also taking part in a Loughborough University research project called 'Memories of Partition', used fashion and textiles to explore their memories of the partition of India, migration, tradition, their own identities and sense of belonging in Loughborough.
Working closely with the county council’s participation team, the group visited the Collections Resources Centre and Charnwood Museum to view objects from the council’s historic museum collection.
They also took part in a series of workshops, including a 'Stitching Stories’ day, where the women brought in precious textiles of their own, and shared the memories associated with them. Led by a talented textile performance artist, some of the work created by the group can be seen in the exhibition.
In addition to the exhibition, the Anand Mangal ladies group performed a fashion show at this year's Loughborough Mela and have produced a beautiful handbook about their sarees, which is now available at Charnwood Museum.
The members of the group have been given a showcase for their work based on traditions and memories, as well as having the opportunity to work with professionals on a full-scale exhibition.
The contributions from the group have also given museums and heritage staff a new insight into how to develop new ways to represent the diverse communities in Leicestershire.Person:Richard Blunt, cabinet member for heritage, leisure and arts
The Stitching Traditions exhibition runs at Charnwood Museum until 29 February 2020 and admission is free.