UCU Strike Owl - 2021

By Laura Vivanco on Sunday, 16 January, 2022

I made this over the three days of the UCU (University and College Union) strike action in December 2021, in an 8 inch hoop. I used the word "Strike!" from a 1918 war poster and tried to give the embroidery the feel of a vintage poster/banner, which is why I went for an allegorical snake, representing Unsafe Workload, Precarity, Inequality, Cuts and Intransigence, which is being attacked by the owl, claws extended, representing UCU. After all, owls represent wisdom (and the name UCU always makes me think of an owl hooting). Since I was trying to complete this quickly, I only sewed the owl in outline (apart from its glowing yellow eyes, beak and claws) but I think that's quite effective. The original is from a coat of arms.