The Sewing Machine Project is a well-researched exhibition that explores all aspects of the sewing machine. The group worked on this theme for two years and subjects range from sewing machine mechanics, decoration and operation to personal, cultural, political and social histories. Each member of Studio 21 has produced a comprehensive body of work that reflects their personal interest in this transformational machine.
The Sewing Machine Project falls into two parts. Part 1: a visual, aural and tactile response to the Sewing Machine, Part 2: a cultural, social, historical or personal response to the Sewing Machine. Throughout the two years of the project, members of Studio 21 took part in regular informal workshops and creative activities.
Drawing, mono-printing and sculpture sessions took place during monthly meetings enabling the group to work together in a supportive manner and allowing individuals to increase their knowledge and to develop work in their chosen area. The first step was to take apart three abandoned machines to reveal their workings: nuts, bolts, levers, drive belts and camshafts were stripped back to leave the solid metal hulk of the machine and it was this mechanical paraphernalia that gave the group thier starting point for the project.