Series: While We Stitch

Exhibition of Wall Quilts, ArtsPost Galleries, Hamilton, 2016

While we stich, life is not elsewhere. In a world that is increasingly connected with non-stop news, quiltmaking does not happen in solitary isolation. Our quilts often absorb the everyday and the world – as it exists outside our daily experience.

Images and stories of great unfolding tragedies fill our news feeds as we stitch. People are forced to flee their homes with only the clothes on their backs. They abandon everything that is important to them; home, family, pets, photos, pots, pans, heirlooms, handiwork, quilts in the cupboard, washing on the line, and flowers in the front garden. They are scarred by the lasting effect of loss and grief.

Quiltmaking is often seen as a therapeutic pastime; but for some, it is a way of life, and a way to contemplate, question, and communicate basic truths about life and human nature. Especially in times of difficulty and disaster.

With its nostalgic association of home and safety, the quilt is an ideal form to accommodate the mess. On the bed, a quilt can be a warm and cuddly thing of beauty, but on the wall, it could make the reality of existence all the harder to bear.


Detail:  Treacherous Waters, 2016          While we stitch, people resort to treacherous waters.


Detail: Barriers, 2016          While we stitch, people face barriers.     


Detail: Shelter, 2016         While we stitch, people search for shelter.


Detail: Scarred, 2016         While we stitch, people are scarred by the lasting effect of loss and grief.


Detail: Borders, 2016       Wile we stitch,  people flee their homes – trudging over deserts, highways, byways, fields, and farmlands – to find closed borders.


Destroyed, 2016          While we stitch, homes and lives are destroyed.


Cross, 2016          Wile we stitch, somebody makes a cross.


Detail: Criss-cross, 2016          While we stitch, people criss-cross countries.


Confiscated, 2016         While we stitch, belongings are confiscated.


Abandoned #1 Heirloom, 2016         While we stitch, people abandon heirlooms. 


Abandoned #2 Handiwork, 2016         While we stitch, people abandon their handiwork.


Bundle of Belongings, 2016         While we stitch, people flee with bundles of belongings. 


Home, 2016        While we stitch, somebody says, “we just want to go home – to make our own coffee and bake our own bread”.


While We Stitch, An exhibition of wall quilts, ArtsPost Galleries, Hamilton, 2016

%d bloggers like this: