Just after we had the bike-tyre-star idea I found this material in a Hackney second hand shop. UKIP had just gained its first elected MP in the Clacton by election and the country was awash with immigration talk. It always scares me. The media hype, the lies lies and statistics that are bandied about, the real pressure and fear felt - both for those feeling unwelcome and those feeling 'swamped'.
Part of the reason I've loved living in Hackney these last 18 years is the diversity of the people who call it home. It feels like travelling the world without leaving your comfy square mile. What's not to like?
For some reason the Tory party were promoting FB posts in my timeline asking me for my opinions about immigration. I thought "Yes! I'll tell them!" I don't know what I was thinking - perhaps I thought it would be some genuine desire to hear the views of the electorate. I clicked through... The diatribes against people arriving at these shores were so shocking that I couldn't bring myself to add my thoughts at all. I just didn't want to be associated with those views even by proximity of post!
I thought the material a fantastic fabric representation of the melting pot of Hackney and the colour and wildness that many people from all over the world bring to this part of the UK. Hurray for immigration.. and the Hackney jungle with all its disparate views and shades and untapped potential.
To make the star I cut up a bright orange piece of fabric on which I had printed the words 'You are beautiful'. It's a little strap line promoted by a guy in the US and made into stickers which have been stuck in nooks and crannies all over the world. Does making it into stickers nullify this deep universal truth? I don't think so. You are beautiful. And you. And you. And you. You too. Beautiful people make up our world and live around here. Get over it!