Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Pivo & Flax: I never will marry

Needlework, like samplers have traditionally provided girls and women with a wholesome activity (preventing the devil from influencing their idle hands) and often included bible verses or quotes about morality. A quality sampler was also seen as an indication of how marriageable the girl who stitched it was and how ordered a house she would keep.

I Never Will Marry is a traditional song that has been performed by everyone from Pete Seeger and the Carter Family to Linda Ronstadt and Kristin Hersh. There are two different versions of the song, one talks about a heartbroken damsel committing suicide and the narrator swearing off marriage after witnessing her death. 

The other version is narrated by the heartbroken woman who, instead of killing herself, refuses to be any man's bride.
This is Joan Baez performing the second, more defiant version.

This is the first collaboration between Pivo and textile artist Flax, both of whom are disappointed with the twee consumerism and retro housewife bullshit that accompanies a lot of contemporary needlework and were wanting to find a more feminist use for this traditional art.

We decided that this song title would fit perfectly with the image of a wandering female troubadour, refusing to be tied down to a single person or settle for a static life in one place. 

Pasted up on Gayfield Square in Edinburgh, opposite St. Mary's Roman Catholic Primary School.

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