Weaving Women’s Wisdom: a creative rug making project and touring exhibition
Weaving Women’s Wisdom is an interfaith project, empowering women to engage in creative activity and to form and deepen friendships.
Launched by Touchstone in Bradford in the Autumn of 2014, Weaving Women’s Wisdom has worked alongside 20 groups in Britain and Pakistan, to enable women to converse differently about matters of life and faith. Each group has been asked to consider four questions: Who are the wise women that have influenced my life? What is the difference between wisdom and knowledge? Who are the wise women in my holy text and faith tradition? and What is the wisest piece of advice I have been given or read from one of the wise women we have discussed? In the light of this conversation, each group has been provided with a starter pack of materials and the invitation to make a rug.
The rugs have used many traditional techniques from the UK and PK, including ‘rag rugging’ and ‘locker hooking’ as well as some inventive designs! Groups have included interfaith forums, schools, Girls Brigade groups and even a book group. The results are stunning and have given great opportunities to women who are often sidelined in more formal interfaith dialogue. Stephen Williams MP, Minister for Communities, who recently visited Touchstone to see the project, said, ‘It was fascinating to hear about how the project has developed into something much more than just inspiring interfaith friendships; how it had developed into forums where women could find a safe space to speak about issues which were of concern to them’.
The rugs have now formed a ‘Weaving Women’s Wisdom’ Exhibition, which has made a tour of the UK and been exhibited in mosques, churches, cathedrals, museums and most recently the Houses of Parliament!
In the light of current rises in religious tensions across the world - the Weaving Women’s Wisdom project is a tangible demonstration that women of all faith can work creatively together for peace. And produce something beautiful!