Embroidery by Ffion Boyd
Original design by Ekta Kaul
Embroidery on linen-cotton blend
30 x 42 cm
“As the design is predetermined, it removes the pressure of being overly innovative in my creativity, which makes for a more relaxing experience for me. As I continue to add to this, I am reminded of my time in London and it brings me a lot of joy.”Ffion Boyd
Ffion’s Lockdown Story
‘While conducting my masters in Museum Studies at UCL, London, I volunteered for Leighton House Museum. During my time there, I was able to join a workshop run by textile artist Ekta Kaul where we were given these maps printed onto a linen-cotton blend fabric. It encourages people to personalise using your own choice of colours for your favourite landmarks.
This is a piece that I started during my studies, and one that I wanted to complete by the end of my time in London (September 2020). Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, I left London early and returned to my family home in Lincolnshire to spend lockdown with loved ones. However, I am still determined to complete this piece by the end of September! It has served as a memento of one of the most thrilling times of my life, living, studying and working in London and making the most wonderful friends.
I love arts and crafts, mostly enjoying painting, textile art and card making. I have always used it as a form of escapism.
However, I recently began volunteering for Age UK, as I realised there would be many lonely and isolated elderly people. From this, I befriended a lovely lady called Marion, who also shared my love for arts and crafts. After spending some time with her, we now sit together, her knitting and me doing my embroidery, with a cappuccino, some heavenly ginger biscuits, and a good old natter. By taking the pressure away to make some beautiful artwork borne out of lockdown, I have got my mojo back and started to spend some time each week working on my London map.
Lockdown has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. At the beginning, I was thriving – I still had ongoing projects to complete for university, so I was able to focus all my energy on those assignments and keep my mind occupied. As lockdown continued, however, I found it increasingly difficult to keep motivation levels up!
Nevertheless, I have enjoyed the unexpected extra time with my family, who often live abroad.’
I find that if I’m going to make something from scratch, with my own design, I feel overwhelmed thinking it has to be perfect from the start. As the design is predetermined, it removes the pressure of being overly innovative in my creativity, which makes for a more relaxing experience for me. As I continue to add to this, I am reminded of my time in London and it brings me a lot of joy.
At the start of lockdown, I felt a lot of pressure to use this time to be ‘creatively productive.’ I was seeing a lot of people on social media posting about the things they’ve created seeing as they have a lot of newfound time, and I started to think I should be doing the same. I study all week, generally with one day off – by the time that day comes around I’m too exhausted to do anything but slob around and watch TV!!
Visit Ekta Kaul’s website for textile masterclasses and embroidery kits like this.
Text and images © Ffion Boyd