Rusholme Lives 1994

The Rusholme Health Centre Manager who commissioned this set of textiles pictures was so tickled pink by work in progress that she doubled the budget halfway through and asked for more work! She says: ‘Now the work is up, people stop and look at it, talk about it – we’ve never had such conversations going on in our corridors before. I would say this has been a real success for us!’

Rusholme Health Centre approached Start to request some specially-designed artwork that would lift the feel of the waiting rooms and corridors, attract the interest of patients and staff, and key the health centre into the neighbourhood.

Start Textiles Department teamed up with the Start Photographic Department to research and create this body of work called Rusholme Lives. The project used the busy, colourful Rusholme main street and its environs as inspiration.

As Wendy Teall, tutor on the project explains: ‘We used photographs of real scenes around Rusholme, and transferred these onto fabric where we tinted them and enhanced them with 3-dimensional figures – characters of all sorts to reflect the vibrant multi-racial mix which Rusholme boasts. We let our imaginations go when designing the figures – each figure has a story, an identity, and the group was frequently full of laughter about the stories we made up concerning all the characters we stitched.’ The figures use a modern adaptation of an old 3-D embroidery method called stumpwork.

Visiting artist Ann Hyde helped with the project, whilst the photographic work was lead by Jack Sutton.

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