For me it stems from the very earth beneath the town. This place is home, it always has been, I’m rooted here. Feet firmly in the bedrock. I have never lived anywhere else. Although often my head is in the clouds, or the Highlands.
Now my studio is in the clouds, high above the powerful Hamills of the White Cart River, but fixed here in this place. The foundations of my studio in The Old Embroidery Mill are anchored to the rocks from which Paisley’s prominence emerged almost two hundred years ago.
Now here’s the truth: I fell out of love with Paisley.
As a child I spent many weekends in the wonderful museum, library and coffee shops with my Gran. When I became a teenager my friends and I would spend Saturdays in the town centre shopping, and in later years frequenting the pubs and clubs. Paisley was the place to be, everything we needed was here.
Sadly, over time, the loss of industry and jobs, when the thread mills closed, finally took it's toll. The town centre went into a deep decline and by the end of the 90's, shops were closing and people stopped coming. Paisley's reputation at this time was not great and the people who lived here were demoralised.
Over the past fifteen years I didn’t think the town of Paisley had anything to offer me, nor I it.
Life is very different now. The kids are growing up, and I’m growing with them. They are drawn to the creative subjects both inside and outside school. My partner and I are both working in creative industries and actively seeking and engaging with the arts in our free time.
What the team behind the bid for City of Culture have done is draw back the curtains and allow us to see the wealth of cultural activity right outside our window. Showing that Paisley could flourish again.
What the power of culture and creativity has done for me, in terms of health and mental wellbeing, is immeasurable. What Paisley 2021 has already done for me is, not only put the spotlight on my work and practise, but shone a light on how the power of positivity and culture could transform the fortunes of a place and it’s people, and for this I am incredibly grateful.
My new work for the front cover of Paisley, UK City of Culture 2021. The geology of Paisley, is stitched to the Paisley 2021 vision, using thread from one of Paisley’s most significant families, Coats.
7th December 2017
That *belief* we all felt, right up until the envelope opened, was real.— Jane Hunter (@janehunterart) December 7, 2017
We get to keep that.
That’s what @jeanmcameron and all the @Paisley2021 team have done for us. #Paisley is, and will continue to be, better because of that belief. pic.twitter.com/R6cN2ZIgNd