Group aims to stitch up Pride award

Up for award ... knitting group Materialistics, with Esen Kaya from the Customs House, front.
Up for award ... knitting group Materialistics, with Esen Kaya from the Customs House, front.

A GROUP of South Tynesiders with a love for knitting have used wool to recreate everything from a Victorian Christmas to fairytale characters.

And now the Materialistics are nominated for community group of the year in the Pride of South Tyneside Awards.

The group, based at the Customs House in Mill Dam, South Shields, got together in 2009 after knitters from across the region were recruited for the project, Casting Off ... A Coat For The Boat.

The Materialistics were nominated for the award by Richard Barber, a local authority officer at South Tyneside Council. He said: “The group use knitting to engage a wide variety of people in arts activity.

“They were involved in the highly- successful Coat For The Boat, and since then they have established themselves as a sustainable community group.

“They have a successful community programme, including regular knit and natter sessions in the libraries as well as having run knitting workshops with other groups.”

The group’s latest exhibition, Once Upon A Time, was shown at the Customs House earlier this year.

And between March 29 and April 1, the work, which highlights tales including the Jungle Book and The Hobbit, took its place at a special Diamond Jubilee show viewed by the Queen.

It was displayed alongside others by Tate Britain, the Design Museum and the London Transport Museum, in Valentines Park, Ilford, Essex, as part of the London Pride Exhibition, which celebrated 60 years of art and design.

Esen Kaya, curator of visual arts at the Customs House, said: “I got the group together in 2010, after they had taken part in our Coat For The Boat project.

“They worked great together and we thought it was a great idea to get them working together again, so we formed them into an official group.

“It’s fantastic that they have been nominated for this award.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki