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Published: 23 January 2021

By Andy Ross

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Some new projects

GlobalYell was established as a charity in Shetland in 2001, teaching and training in vocal music. 

In 2005, with the addition of the Ann Sutton Foundation to the charity's assets, GlobalYell became a textile education studio and for the past few years has worked to create a research space, a commercial weave production facility, and provided residencies for artists and workshops as well as tours of the islands, based on the textiles of Shetland. 

In this 20th anniversary year, the charity will start to build on the learning of the past two decades by embarking on an art project to help during the pandemic and by creating a textile network to support the islands. 

The first of these projects is to celebrate creativity through a wellbeing festival in the latter part of the summer of 2021. Creative activities can help alleviate loneliness, isolation or just plain boredom! This pilot festival, funded by GlobalYell and Creative Scotland, will feature work made by people who have participated in some of the courses and classes that GlobalYell will be offering from Spring. Those sessions will come from people who want to teach others or wish to demonstrate something they make or do but do not have the skills or confidence. GlobalYell will be offering support and training to help. At the end of the summer the charity will bring all of the activities together for the festival. Through this project we plan to build up a group of creative sessions to inspire and  help communities to get through this difficult period. Best of all, it is not limited to Shetland! Anyone from anywhere can participate, either taking part in sessions or offering something for others to learn from and enjoy. More details will be available over the next few weeks via the blog. 

The second project is over a longer period. For the next three years GlobalYell will be creating a network of people and organisations that use textiles to support their particular communities. As an example of possible participants, here is a project from Peru that strengthens craft techniques and supports artisans while educating and raising awareness and income, while this one, TextileSupport, (sent in by a reader. Thank you, Debra.) provides ways for people to learn and understand through tourism. The network will meet to discuss common issues and how the studio in Yell can help to solve them; for example, by creating an exchange programme, or by offering research facilities or by weaving samples. In the third year of the project, funded by GlobalYell and the Crown Estate, there will be a conference in the islands, bringing together participants and producing a report of the project. Through this network GlobalYell plans to broaden its reach, increase its activities and find ways to support the islands through textiles, with a particular focus on weaving. 

For more information please email andy@globalyell.org