Creative Arts

Postgraduate research

Sarah Green

Photo of  Sarah Green

PhD student

In 2010 Sarah graduated from Loughborough University with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art. Following on from her undergraduate interest in participatory art Sarah completed MA Art in the Public Sphere, also at Loughborough University. Her MA research focused on the use of textile craft practices for activist action, termed Craftivism. She developed the alter ego Super Crochet Girl as part of this research, https://supercrochetgirl.wordpress.com/. She became increasingly interested in the community building aspects of textile crafting and sought the opportunity to gain experience as a community-based practitioner with Charnwood Arts, a local arts organisation based in Loughborough.

After graduating from the MA Sarah continued her collaborative work with Charnwood Arts as project co-ordinator for ‘Our Knitted Story’, a year-long project which involved working with a number of community groups across Leicestershire and invited the contribution of 1st year textile students from Loughborough University. Sarah also acted as a regional partner for the Craftivist Garden #wellMAKING project in 2014, a collaboration between Falmouth University, The Craftivist Collective, Voluntary Arts and Arts for Health Cornwall, which aimed to raise awareness of wellbeing through sewing, http://projects.falmouth.ac.uk/craftivistgarden/category/charnwood-arts/.

In 2015 Sarah was awarded a fully funded research studentship from The School of the Arts, English and Drama at Loughborough University. 

Title

ManCraft: textile crafting and emerging narratives supporting the wellbeing of vulnerable men

Sarah’s practice-based PhD research seeks to examine the therapeutic use of textile craft processes for vulnerable men’s wellbeing. Motivated by the high mortality rate amongst men in the UK, this research focuses on the vulnerabilities of men over a generalised concern for men, in order to discover whether textile craft processes can provide a tool to self-manage individual wellbeing. Several empirical studies evidence the therapeutic benefits of textile crafting to the health and wellbeing of individuals (Corkhill 2014, Dickie 2011, Reynolds 2000, 2004, and Riley et al 2008) but these studies largely focus on women’s experiences of crafting. This research uses practice as its principle method for testing the research questions and consists mainly of the long-term community-based textile craft group, ManCraft, situated at Charnwood Arts in Loughborough.

Initially the practice focused on the therapeutic use of textile craft processes, however, as the practice continues Sarah has identified that conversations, dialogue and stories are prevalent in the workshops and consequently suggests that the emergent narratives may be as significant as crafting in relation to the therapeutic process. Through the use of community-based practice, Sarah aims to extend our understanding of the value of textile making and emergent narrative discourse in relation to wellbeing and to increase knowledge and understanding of the role of the facilitator within community-based art practices.  

Dr Mary (Mo) White

Dr Jane Tormey 

Green, S. (2017) Spinning Yarns: Textile crafting and emerging dialogue supporting the

wellbeing of vulnerable men. In: Proceedings of Intersections: Collaborations in Textile Design Research Conference, 13 September 2017, Loughborough University London, U.K.

Available from www.lboro.ac.uk/textile

Green, S. (2016) How Can the Therapeutic Use of Textile Craft Processes Help Achieve Positive Mental Wellbeing for Men? In: Proceedings of Co-Creating Pathways to Well-Being: 3rd international conference exploring the multi-dimensions of well-being, 5-6 September 2016, Birmingham City University, U.K.