Grampus Heritage was formed in 1997 as the not-for-profit division of a forestry and environmental company. Since then, the organisation has become the UK’s leading promoter in the European Union’s Directorate of Education and Culture programmes Leonardo da Vinci and Culture 2007–2013, and has worked in 32 European states. Director Martin Clark explains that ‘Grampus is all about sustainability and local, rural people prospering and making the best use of their cultural and natural assets.’
To achieve this, Grampus works to update traditional skills and find new markets for local rural products. The process is best done in partnership and Grampus, from Cumbria in the north-west of England, links to other remote areas such as the Devetaki plateau in Bulgaria, the Troodos mountains in Cyprus, the Ipel’ river valley in southern Slovakia, Transylvania in Romania, the Dübener Heide in Germany, the Karst region of Slovenia, Co. Mayo in the west of Ireland and the Estonian island of Saaremaa.
Martin believes strongly that confidence and empowerment areessential ingredients for successful and sustainable rural economies. A recent project involved Slovakia, Romania, Cyprus, Greece, Slovenia and Scotland and looked at ways of incorporating culture and nature into contemporary art – including wearable art. A range of fantastic costume emerged, including this wool and recycled fabric dress worn by Monica Oprean from Sibiu in Romania. Monica worked with Adriana Patkova (peg-loom weaving) from Slovakia, Jenny Bush (wool processing and ‘big knitting’) and Sara Gadd (millinery) from Cumbria. The resulting dress is a unique piece not intended for commercialisation but is meant to raise the profile of wool and sustainable rural development by empowering the creative spirit in local rural people and giving them a confidence boost.
Creative direction: Damian Santamaria
Photography: Marcelo Benfield
Garment design: Monica Oprean
Styling: Io Takemura
Hair: Akio Nishiyama @ GCAgency / Assistant: Shiho
Make-up: Kanako Yoshida using Mac Pro
Model: Magdalena Wróblewska