Interwoven

Interwoven is a socially engaged, participatory arts project that aims to impact the Jacksonville community by including responses to a question about the hope you have for our city.

Interwoven is about YOU. It is designed to invoke your engagement, your reactions and responses to “the question” and your hopes and dreams for our city.

My first teabag tapestry, for an installation at the Main Library titled “Prescribed Expression,” became the inspiration for this project. I enjoyed creating the larger tapestry so much that I channeled my inner-Mad Scientist and began researching, documenting findings, collecting data and recording information on my new-found tea bag obsession.

On a warm Florida afternoon in May, after a strong cup of rooibos tea, poetry, music and art, the best ideas started to flow. I imagined using the teabags for a much larger canvas, which led to more exploration and self-discovery.

This process intrigued an even larger study and inspired the use of red thread. To me, red symbolizes the blood that gives us life and it’s always reminded me of how we are all part of one human family. This “red thread” binds us and can, therefore, be used as a powerful healing agent, if we allow it. Using our words and the threads we weave together as a community, will tell a powerful visual story of our city.

How it all “ties” together (pun intended)

After the death of my father, in 2013, I wanted to learn more about my family history. In the hopes of learning more about my origins, I completed a DNA test with Ancestry and this is what I discovered:

I am 99% European

Great Britain 28%

European West 27%

Ireland 27%

Scandinavia 9%

Iberian Peninsula 3%

Italy/Greece 2%

European Jewish 1%

Europe East <1%

Finland/Northwest Russia <1%

Africa <1%

The most powerful part of this process was learning where my family lived in the United States, what jobs they had, the positions they held and their ties to the community. It is through the echoes of the past that we honor the hopes of our families and learn more about their communities. With our own community tapestry, we learn more about each other as we weave together the things that reflect our own humanity.

My goal is to collect 1,000 responses throughout the various parts of our city, making sure to obtain a variety of responses to ensure a diverse selection.

Ways to individuals to participate:

Attend a communiTEA event and answer the prompt

Save your used tea bags for me!

Help me “dump” tea out of teabags at a communiTEA event

Come to a communiTEA event and/or find a “response collection station” in the city to collect your red thread and wear it to remind yourself that we are ALL part of a larger story

Ways for you  small businesses to participate:

Small businesses can “host” a response collection station that I will create to suit your aesthetic and space

If you see a way we could potentially partner contact me!

Current community partners/supporters:

Riverside Arts Market, Riverside

Vagabond Coffee, Murray Hill

Follow me on Instagram or Facebook to see where I will be setup or when I’m on your side of town. If you’d like to have a conversation with me over a cup of tea Email me at carmencayart@gmail.com and lets connect!