Commissioned by Quiet Down There, Kristina was one of six artists who have immersed themselves in the world of laundry and the laundrette.
The project started from a fascination of the laundrette as a social and creative space and was launched at a time when laundrettes were some of the only high street services operating through lockdown. The artists had to find creative ways to research, connect and make work with people, without ever really meeting them.
As a disabled artist Kristina Veasey is aware of how often voices are left out, particularly those of the already marginalised, so it was important to her that other disabled people could participate.
She shared the project with a shielding group on Facebook. “It would be easy to only focus on all the positive and whimsical stories, but that would be ignoring the persistent lack of access that is the norm for so many of us.”
To overcome the barriers created by the Covid-19 pandemic, and to break up the isolation for others, Kristina sent out engagement packs by post.
They were filled with sewn mini laundry bags and filled with tiny items of clothing, backed with paper.
Kristina liked the idea of participants opening their post, and pulling open the drawstrings of the laundry bags to reveal the clothes within, a bit like opening a stocking at Christmas. It seemed a more intimate and personal way to engage.
Participants wrote their thoughts about laundrettes on the reverse of the clothes and posted them back.
To reach a wider spread of people and to make the interaction more accessible, Kristina also used a video messaging service to reach people online. This had the added bonus of being able to use people’s voices in her final video, Coming Clean.
You can follow Kristina’s artistic process for this project here https://qdtlaundrette-kristina.blogspot.com/.
And more about QDT Launderette and the other artists commissioned here http://www.quietdownthere.co.uk/qdt-laundrette.