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South Devon's Endangered Species Exhibition: Craftivism & Engagement


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July 28, 2023

Arts and crafts have long been a tool for education and engagement, with groups and campaigns using craftivism to get their message across. The Endangered Species exhibition from South Devon Stitchers illustrates how a group can use their creative skills to focus interest on the natural world around us.

In the exhibit, 48 endangered species from South Devon are illustrated through a range of textile techniques, including felting, thread painting, crochet and knitting, and machine work. The species are arranged in three panels relating to the species’ habitats: Moor to Coast; Cliff to Shore; and Under the Sea.

The Stitchers decided on the topic of endangered species in late 2019, wanting to raise awareness of a local issue. Over the next few years, they developed the concept and got to work, finally producing the beautiful final piece. Jean Fenton, a member of the group, saw the Quaker Loving Earth project at South Brent’s Sustainability Hub, and realised that it would be a great location for their exhibit. The piece was displayed there throughout May, before moving on to Totnes Climate Hub, with plans for the rest of the summer.

There are more exciting opportunities for the Endangered Species exhibition coming up. Through SusSH, the Stitchers were connected to the Devon Living Churchyards project, with whom they are looking at getting the work professionally framed. Jean is also currently working on making a digital archive and writing about the techniques involved.

And the group is keen for their work to continue being seen! Would your local church, community centre or climate hub be interested in showing it off? Find Jean’s details below for more information.

South Devon Stitchers has been running for over 20 years and meets in Kingskerswell about once a month to share skills and knowledge about embroidery and textile art. They are a friendly, enthusiastic and inclusive group who welcome all ages and abilities to join in their varied programme.

Get in touch with Jean about the exhibit or South Devon Stitchers at or on 07977 505761.