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Nottingham Silk Route was one of three programmes City Arts put together for World Event Young Artists 2012. Inspired by the festival’s themes of global cultures and creative exchange, a 45-metre length of silk was produced using batik, with text and imagery created by local families and the names and place of birth of all the visiting artists. Established textile maker Ali Pretty (Artistic Director of Kinetika) worked in collaboration with local spoken word artist and writer Panya Banjoko were commissioned to deliver the textiles project with Nottingham community groups and families.
The silk was painted live in Nottingham’s Old Market Square on a warm and sunny September’s day. Flanked by volunteers holding buckets of dye, Ali Pretty quickly made her way down the length of silk, applying the different colours. As the fabric dried it revealed the words and pictures drawn in wax by the many participants of the project. It marked the end the WEYA festival and, over the course of the day, was seen by an audience of over 2,500 people.