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Respect, Gender, Speak! Celebrating Equality & Diversity for all! Let’s ‘Swop’! Your Art For Mine!

A crafted reminder to speak about the things that matter. Swapped! A treasured nature memory for a bag with an important message.

I was reminded through a fellow student’s work that handcrafted items can embody all that is diverse and uniquely beautiful, representing every human being!

There's so much beauty and value in hand (and machine) sewn and crafted items and keeping this legacy alive. It's a legacy woven and threaded throughout humanity’s rich cultural and creative history. As creative practitioners, we find our voice and speak out, adding to this unique legacy. To find a handmade item in a sea of mass-produced is a pure delight. They often come with quirky characters and unique narratives matching our individual eccentricities! There is something intrinsically exquisite in tactile pieces. To add practicality to a creative work gives an item new meaning and can enrich our lives, even in small ways. We can make a difference through our creativity and work towards a safer future for all.

I met Sarah Evans, another creative arts practitioner and student during our Just Do It sessions: an online video session of tutors and students, of laughter and shared experience. We talk about our work, share our ideas and make things together in warm and friendly company. A definite highlight of the month in the Creative Arts Department! During the session, Sarah shared an exciting project she is working on that celebrates equality and diversity.

The Swop!

Our ‘swop’ took place via email after I curiously approached Sarah! I sent her a piece of my artwork to include in her project in exchange for one of her hand-crafted items. I then chose a charity listed on her website and donated. Sarah advocates for women’s rights and safety alongside celebrating diversity and equality for people of all gender, innate or assigned. Her creative vision is to create a safer future, celebrating and speaking out for and holding respect for our unique differences as human beings.

Sarah’s beautiful bag arrived, forever reminding me to speak!

I chose a vibrant red bag with the words ‘Speak’. This word embodies Sarah’s message ‘Stand your ground, find your voice. Yes, speak up for others too, don’t be a bystander. But first, speak up for yourself.’ This word felt serendipitous and held meaning as I discover my unique voice in the creative arts!

As creative arts practitioners, we are multidisciplinary and work with and integrate more than one creative and artistic discipline. The work I shared with Sarah was a photograph combined with creative writing. The image held a treasured memory I shared with my mother of those beautiful golden fields of summer buttercups. The words I added to the photo were from my nature journal. It was a pleasure to swap something of value with Sarah.

A treasured memory to ‘swop’, photo and words by Tricia Burton

Would You Like to Swop & Support a Fellow Creative?

You can find Sarah here at Relational Connections or alternatively email her for more information at:

How to Swop - Choose one of Sarah’s items here. Email Sarah with the item you would like with the email subject: My Swop. In this email, attach an image of your work you want to swap. Once you have swapped with Sarah, chose a charity and donate here

Happy Swopping & Supporting! Let’s make a difference!

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