Following the launch of The Madonna of the Mountains in 2018, Elise Valmorbida met Katy Emck, founding director of prison stitching charity Fine Cell Work. They were both ‘Women of Liberty’, photographed by Mary McCartney as part of Liberty's campaign to mark 100 years since some women in Britain were granted the right to vote. Elise wrote about her textile-loving grandmother for Fine Cell Work's blog and prison newsletter. It wasn’t long before Elise and Katy started hatching plans...
In 2021, after a great deal of work by many people, a Crowdfunder was launched for Threads of Time, a beautiful hardback limited-editon art book celebrating 25 years of Fine Cell Work. Elise is one of the book’s editors and contributors, alongside 30 other writers—including Tracy Chevalier, Louis de Bernières, Esther Freud and Isabella Tree—all working pro bono to help this inspiring charity do more for prisoner rehabilitation than it already does.
Within days, the Crowdfunder target was met and almost doubled. Beyond making the book happen, all raised funds went directly to the charity's work in prisons—more vital than ever in times of lockdown. See the Crowdfunder page and video here.
May 2022: The book is published and launched! Copies can still be ordered directly from Fine Cell Work.