Now when I visualise a run I see the route in terms of scenery, paths, tracks and perhaps weather. I also still endure regular battles with myself over stopping, or pushing on that bit more and I have to say that I have never once wondered what my run would look like as a woven textile, yet the new â€˜Maker in Residenceâ€™ at the Barony does! I popped in to meet Angharad McLaren and find out more about her â€˜Weavathonâ€™ project that combines sport with textiles and I donâ€™t mean getting a sweat on in your lycra! Angharad is a weaver and general textile genius (her cushion box in the studio whispered sweet nothings at me to prove this) who like myself enjoys a good run. The walls of her studio are adorned with scientific looking graphs and maps all hinting at Angharadâ€™s project which she is literally running with. By mapping the movement, exertion and pace of exercise Angharad is translating the data, which is easily captured using a simple running app and creating a pattern for her woven textiles.
This is as much a community project as it is a personal one for Angharad. She has organised a calendar bustling with runs, walks and sports trips to schools, each providing material for her woven textiles, but more importantly involving others in her project. Each thread on her loom will be woven with the footsteps of others, people like myself who love sport and fitness and those who have been inspired by her project and have gone their first run. Of course, I had get out with Angharad myself. I wanted my little map on that wall, all those huffs and puffs would mean just a bit more when they are recorded forever in thread. So off we jogged one breezy Tuesday morning. This was different from my usual runs, aside from lots of very interesting chat with Angharad, when you view your run as a â€˜patternâ€™ with all itâ€™s uphill struggle, speeding down the flat and bobbing along on a nice regular path it makes you want to push harder, dig a little deeper and try a different route or two. With the forthcoming Olympic and Commonwealth Games Angharad has timed this project to perfection. There are many reasons to motivate people to watch, participate and organise sporting events and â€˜Weavathonâ€™ 2012 is a doorstep start to weaving life changing threads into the mind of the community.