Oly Bliss Worcestershire, United Kingdom
Queer Craftivist exploring social and political issues with an interest in sexuality and gender
I consider myself a facilitator and a creative activist or simply a craftivist.
I enjoy using textiles as a starting point within my work and enjoy exploring themes of identity, sexuality and gender within my personal practice.
A previous commission the Same-Sex Marriage Quilt was delivered working in partnership with eight partner organisations between Liverpool and Manchester. The project idea started from a one-week micro-residency with People’s History Museum. This was a community quilt project which celebrates the 396 Members of Parliament (MPs) that voted in favour of same sex marriage bill 2013. Over 650 people took part in its creation; individually decorating portraits of MP into a political map of the UK to honour a landmark moment in British History regarding the rights of Same Sex couples. The piece dominates space demanding attention hanging at 4 metres by 3.5 metres. The Same-Sex Marriage Equality Quilt has toured to venues across the North and further afield. The work helps educate the public about our political democratic structure to help provide a visual representation of how MPs collectively make decisions on our laws.
I have developed community banners for Pride events including working with the Lesbian Immigration Support Group and Liverpool Pride facilitating Alternative Fashion Festival members to and create their own finalised banner designs. The designs are created through process of consultation from the outset so that the groups feel full ownership of the design.
I am also an experienced facilitator for creative workshops. I aim to find ways to build conversations around social and political issues. I am experienced in running workshops and working with different age ranges of people. I have different games and ice breakers I can draw upon to gain trust making participants feel safe and secure. I am currently in the process of developing a new project proposal for new works. To help maintain my technical skills I enjoy sketching portraits which I upload on to instagram. I also enjoy making Youtube videos to champion queer fiction writers and to encourage people to read their work which you can visit at #Bookdraw on Youtube.