Finga Ninja 2016
Knit 'n' Natter workshops, sponsored by Opportunity Sutton, helped SamiArt create the pieces needed to yarnbomb the street furniture at Market Place, Sutton as part of a major regeneration programme for the North End of Sutton High St
"Regeneration starts with heart followed by art" - Samia
SamiArt brought the Inspire & Share ethos into this inclusive art engagement participatory project to get the light hearted conversation going about an area of Sutton High St in need of a boost. 200+ people were taught how to finger knit colourful ropes. These were used to cover the street furniture in the High Street's Northern Gateway, bringing colour, joy and smiles to people's faces & engaging over 500 people in conversation.
The project was funded by Opportunity Sutton, supported by Sutton Council, enabled by Enjoy Sutton and huge thanks go to Sutton Women's Centre, Sutton Carer's Centre, Sutton South Hello for being game enough to get involved with the knit'n'natter sessions - creating without knowing what it was all for - & the teenage volunteers from NCS The Challenge Programme who volunteered their time to be inspired and share their skills in the community. Extra special thanks to the Night Crew Finga Ninjas - you know who you are.
“Yarn bombing - in Sutton - wow, finally the council are getting funky!”
“Cool, why don’t you do the whole High Street from top to bottom!”
“It looks great and feels lovely”
“I’m 70, I’ve lived here 35 years, this looks so pretty, I spotted it as soon as I came through the alleyway. Can I sing you a song? I love singing, I’ll sing an olden day song”
“Oh, this is so pretty, it caught my eye, what’s it all for?”
“It’s really made me smile!”
“It’s so good to see colour in the area, I think it looks lovely!”
“What a difference you’re making, keep up the good work”
“I think it’s brilliant that you’ve taught so many people a new skill and brought the community together like this. It’s great that the Council are doing creative & different things, we’ll keep an eye out for all the events they’ve got coming up"
“I love it, how nice to see something colourful in the High Street, it makes such a difference"
“Thanks for making my community look so pretty!”
“It’s been such a pleasure taking part and learning this great skill. We can’t wait to see the transformation of the area. What a nice way to start things off”
“I would like to thank you so much for coming in and working with our young people with such enthusiasm. As I said earlier, such a great project and I am so, so happy that we are helping you out! What’s also brilliant is the way all the teams are now able to work on a collaborative project, it’s given them a real sense of purpose” Phoebe Grudzinskas, Senior Assistant Programmer
‘That’s the first time I’ve seen them all laughing and chatting, usually they just sit there and are all quite shy about speaking in English’
‘You need to see what she made at home, and remarkably, she came in and told us all about it - that’s the first time she’s spoken up in English like that, and with such enthusiasm. Amazing!’
‘This is great, it’s really good to have something to take the mind off our problems, really therapeutic’
‘I think I’ve found my new hobby’
‘Oh yeah, I can show my grandkids how to do it, they’ll love that!’