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Jackie Powton

Jackie’s use of embroidery as a voice for her frustration and anger at the current social and political climate is intended to shock but with the aim to encourage discussion and debate. Attempts to censor her work during the festival in 2021 were dismissed by Largo Arts who reject any form of censorship in art. As Jackie put it, which side of history do you want to be on and unfortunately history has proven that censorship has often been on the wrong side.

Studio 35


Where did it all start?


After teaching art and design for 35 years, it took a wee bit time to recalibrate life, and living differently. The encouragement of a hugely supportive friend (Ann Landrock Studio 35), also a retired art teacher, to share my love of making things with a wider audience and join her studio at Largo Arts Week in 2020, was both a terrifying opportunity, and very exciting. That we didn’t exhibit until 2021 gave me more time for indecision and creating and making.


What is your inspiration?


I love making things, for family and friends, handmade gifts; knitting, stitching, sewing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, painting, drawing, bookbinding, screen printing…..I just love making things.


My post teaching creative journey began in 2018 when I decided to participate in the Edinburgh procession celebrating 100 years of Women’s suffrage. The organisers encouraged processionees to make our own banners. Researching for my banners focused my creativity, re-established my love of stitching, compounded my fury and indignation and fuelled a determination to acknowledge (those) courageous women who travelled ahead of me to make my path easier. 


Clever women engaging intellectually, challenging accepted convention, and creating in adversity, have always threatened the status quo, provoking censorship, disapproval and exclusion. 

Craftivism, popular creative protest, a witty subversive stitching movement, and women’s creative crafts collectives such as the Profanity Embroidery Group are a joyful source of inspiration, admiration and support, especially within the context of international/global apprehension and national upheaval.


Finding a sense of place, recounting journey and memory for making, collating, and curating, and being part of that perpetual push for change, is a never-too-late good place to be. 


What makes Largo Arts Weeks so special?


I love best participating in our shared studio and exhibition space, there’s the chat, sense of solidarity, camaraderie, and laughing together about how blooming grim it all is, hand stitched on Scottish woven linen, or a vintage hankie. 


Delighted to participate in Largo Arts Week, diverse and inclusive, embracing creativity in the community.


Upper Largo has been our family’s home for nearly 30 years. Our boys have cherished memories growing up here, and now our granddaughters dam the same burn, just as enthralled on the same beach, with equal wonder and joy.

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