The picnic blanket is based on satellite views and maps of Margate. I based the design on my route from Margate train station to my house. This is a journey which I take about once every 2 months to visit family and friends when I am homesick and need a break from London. Margate train station looks over Margate bay, as I wait for my Dad to pick me up I really enjoy the feel of fresh sea air and soak up being home. I have been questioning why Margate is important to me and why I get homesick. Firstly the facts; I grew up here, my parents live in the house I grew up in. Most of the family live here. I began to realise that whenever I thought of home and Margate and struggled to explain why it is so important to me. Each time I searched for an answer I would reminisce of days out, going through the school years, visiting relatives nearby, playing in the garden. I became very nostalgic and constantly looked back to when I was a child growing up with my older sister and younger brother. I could reflect countless stories from growing up. I have a fantastic memory of my childhood. I can remember my first day of school, a show assembly where I stood up and said the wrong answer about the number 4 when I was in reception year. I realised that I am so fond of Margate because it was host to these countless happy memories.
The car journey is very short, perhaps 5 minutes from station to house, however it is a route which passes many locations and buildings which hold important childhood memories for me; my primary school, my playschool, my Nan and Grandad’s old house, the park, the sweet shop, the high street, the arcade and the beach. I have roughly plotted my journey past these locations and included photographs taken at them. Each photo I have a story for, from a red see-saw to a school photo, I can tell a tale. The photos were all stored in a cardboard box at the back of the loft, I took them out and we relived some memories and laughed at old hairstyles and fashions together. This encouraged me to make use of these lost images so that my family could enjoy the work on another level.
I am now considering displaying the textile as a picnic blanket. I was intending for some plaster work I have been making of marked plates to sit on top of the map. However now the blanket is nearing completion I am unsure if the two go together any more. Previously I looked at a bucket and space which I covered in maps and think this may work better. I wanted the textile to set a scene. Aided by props I wanted it to capture a memory, perhaps of a beach picnic, or a bank holiday at the park. However at the same time I do not want to overwhelm the scene as the blanket is a busy image already. I may take the blanket to the beach and photograph it on the sand with the props to explain further my intentions.