What: Buttons, buttons and more buttons. We have a love for these beautiful, everyday objects and we’re making a collection of buttons with stories.

First invented as a form of decoration for clothing, buttons evolved over the years into something much more, and at one point they were the only thing keeping our modesty and clothing together. Nowadays, buttons can be anything from functional to decorative and not limited to the realms of fashion.

Our choices of buttons may say something about us as individuals but also buttons may be a physical representation of memories, thoughts and feelings or moments in life. These may be difficult times or painful memories or symbolic of happier times. A button may come to symbolise a literal ‘keeping it together’.

We invite you to find yourself in a button; a button that is anything from Bakelite, to bling, to bone and any combination in between. If it says something about you, we want it in our collection. Your button doesn’t need a specific provenance or value; they could be found on the street, under the sofa, in a sewing tin, in a charity shop, in a pocket, the spare button off your favourite garment reminiscent of halcyon days (although please don’t send an important heirloom).

Now to unbutton the stories. Your story may be about yourself or your button, it may be something you have never told anyone or a social stigma such as mental health, it may be something you are stuck with or want to let go of. Your story might be incredibly personal, or perhaps more general about something which affects you.

To tell your story a label should be attached to each button with an image (drawing, print, photograph, painting, collage, mixed media), poem or story in 2D or book/zine form. You can use the format of a traditional luggage label or make your own label.

Maximum dimensions: 5 x 5 x 5cm. You can submit as many buttons as you wish. You can include your name/website on your label or your submission can be anonymous if preferred.

We intend to exhibit all the buttons in our growing collection, however we reserve the right to exclude any submissions we consider inappropriate for any given setting.

Who: Everyone. Artists, makers, crafters, poets, writers, and anyone who doesn’t want to give themselves any of these labels but would like to create something. No previous experience necessary.

Where: This is a touring exhibition with the first showcase at CraftLocker in Elland, West Yorkshire.

When: June – July 2018, preview Friday 8th June.

Payments/fees: Contributors are required to cover applicable costs for delivering the work.

To submit: Post/deliver your labelled button to: FAO Alice Bradshaw & Vanessa Haley, CraftLocker, 77 Southgate, Elland, HX5 0EP, UK.

Deadline: Monday 4th June 2018

About Alice & Vanessa: Alice and Vanessa are independent artists and curators have been co-curating exhibitions and festivals together since 2010. Previous projects include: Warehouse Weekend, Huddersfield; The University of Incidental Knowledge http://universityincidentalknowledge.wordpress.com/ , Holmfirth Arts Festival 2011/12, Postscript for Hannah Festival https://postscriptedpostcards.wordpress.com/ and Soundstripes https://www.facebook.com/Soundstripes/

About CraftLocker: CraftLocker is a craft emporium offering the best from local artists, high quality craft classes and training, and helping women back onto their feet. As a social company, CraftLocker aims to help women break the cycle of poverty, loneliness and unemployment and we are committed to helping women who haven’t had the easiest ride in life. https://www.facebook.com/CraftLockerElland/