SMA’ Shot 2016
Renfrewshire Council once again called on us to help the people of Paisley celebrate a pivotal moment in their industrial past.
From moths and caterpillars, representing the origins of thread, through to exotic patterns and fabrics from around the world, Sma’ Shot Day 2016 celebrated Paisley’s undeniable historical influence on the global textile industry.
Sma’ Shot Day celebrates the moment when 19th century cotton workers weaving the town’s famous cloth won their battle against their employers over not having to pay, out of their own wages, the Sma’ shot thread which bound all the colourful weft threads into the warps of the famous Paisley shawls.
Paisley, the eponymous textile leaf design made famous all over the world from this small town just outside Glasgow, has a fascinating history that is often overlooked due to its close proximity to Scotland’s second city. However, a pivotal moment in its 19th century industrial history forms the basis of a charming parade which we are delighted to be involved in helping shape and develop further. It’s a great way of giving the past the chance to speak to current generations through a collective outdoor experience combining history, art and mass movement choreography.
Indeed, with much of the town’s weaving industry all but disappeared, the landmark Sam’ Shot industrial relations victory provides Renfrewshire Council with a great opportunity to engage people of all ages in a collective celebration.
Inevitably, the best way of telling this story is to bring it alive on the streets with a parade that brings everyone of all ages together. But the story telling starts many months before as we hold workshops for a range of different community groups to work on creating costumes, larger than life figurines and some simple choreography to give the parade an element of performance.
With parades such as these, the challenge is to build momentum and excitement months ahead of the big day with collective workshops that bring everyone around a table with a group of creative practitioners who can bring ideas to life.
With Paisley bidding to be the UK City of Culture in 2021, events like Sma’ Shot also provide the perfect platform for us to engage with a wide range of different community groups and show our expertise in building capacity ahead of a major event.