“Find your voice, and stay strong and true.”
This morning a casual conversation with an inspiring, purpose driven individual turned everything on its head for me. I asked her about how she chose what to write about, because I was slightly overwhelmed about the plethora of content that we ‘should’ be putting out there, and the intellectualisation of that had led to analysis paralysis. Besides the gem of advice of writing – ‘no matter what’ – a number of posts you commit to a week, the words ‘stay strong and true’ resonated the most.
And so I returned to what mattered the most to me and why MATTER begun in the first place. Beyond artisanship, culture, travel, and the universal motifs in textiles, I asked, what does the world need more of? What do I believe the world needs more of?
When I die, I want my grave (wherever it is, given my ashes will be scattered to the wind) to have this engraving: She helped people love each other more. What would this take? People realising their common humanity and values; respecting and appreciating their differences.
Why textiles? Because there is so much meaning in fabric, and it touches so many hands from field to fabric to final garment. It is so intimate, an item that we dress ourselves in every day as an external signifier to the world of who we are and what we stand for. Its a way of telling our story, every day, an indicator of who we want to be and where we came from. The colours and motifs in fabric tell a story and we make it our own.
Why pants? Because it is a near universal form of clothing that has taken different forms depending on the culture, and which is near disappearing because of the ubiquitous takeover of the denim jeans. It is a unifying article. Its also a symbol of freedom, given its structure and history. The first women to wear pants were the Amazonians, and the first trousers were made when humans discovered the utility of movement in our first vehicle – the horse.
So this is what MATTER is about. Diversity in all its beautiful colours and forms, and a universal yet individualistic approach to the basics that unite us.