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Crafting Landscape: An Exploration into Site-Specific Making

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Crafting Landscape is the culmination of site-specific crafts practice, developed during research by Practitioner/ Researcher Hattie Kerrs, in to the interrelationships between Craftsperson, Landscape and Material during her Masters by Research at Manchester School of Art.


Hattie Kerrs lives and works from within the landscape surrounding her home in Wirksworth, Derbyshire. Her previous work as a designer and maker of knitted accessories and homewares imparted a sense of disconnection between herself and the materials being utilized, which held no personal significance. This detachment, alongside the transition from the city to the rural landscape in which she now resides, motivated this research project which resonates with traditional rural crafts.

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Utilising the materials available locally, Hattie processes raw sheep’s fleeces, spinning and dyeing the yarn with vegetation gleaned from the surrounding countryside. The unanticipated assistance of the community during the sourcing and processing of these materials engendered the crafted garments transition into collaborative pieces between the Craftsperson, the Landscape, and the local Community. Signifying how to the craftsperson, the landscape and the people who inhabit it, can become entwined through narrative and memory.


The exhibition featured the collection of knitted garments, a film by film-maker Gavin Repton documenting the making processes, alongside photographs, artefacts and artists books; to explore the narrative of the locale. This event ran as part of the 2018 Wirksworth Arts Festival in Derbyshire. 

Hattie seeks to establish, by creating knitted garments inter-twined with location through materiality, whether the maker experiences a deepening connection with the landscape. To identify how the experience of producing crafted artefacts in this site-specific way can act as a conduit between maker and the landscape. Hattie engages with the significance of the craftsperson’s subjective experience, during the making processes.

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“Our materials come to us already ground and chipped and powdered and mixed and sliced, so that only the finale in the long sequence of operations from matter to product is left to us: we merely toast the bread. No need to get our hands in to the dough.” - Annie Albers 'On Weaving.'