Themes: Fear, Isolation, Hope, Nature, Mental Health, Covid Deaths, Time, Seaside, Animals
W 146cm x L197cm.
11 members of Say It With Stitch came together to create a gentle and subtle reflection of the Lockdown periods. Being by the sea, the coast and Nature feature heavily. The group, many practising artists, focused on mental health and staying well.
– say it with stitch –
RIDING THE WAVES
My two patches are an outpouring of snippets of words, observations and thoughts that reflected my experience during the first and second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Riding the waves as a snail representing how life slowed down. Stitched style of wording is a nod to Lorina Bulwer and her stitched rant embroidery work.
STRONG THREAD HUDDLES
In the overwhelming shadow of the virus, gratefulness for Norfolk’s green and blue spaces came through as strong threads. Our garden also became the focus for a connection to life in nature, neighbours and some friends and family members as restrictions allowed. Red dots evolved as huddles to represent family and our descent into disconnection, showing the various bubble compilations that followed. Growth, in our family and garden across the seasons, gave us strong threads of hope to new beginnings. Purple threads of restrictions led to silver threads of technology that connected us, especially to elderly parents; represented as a strong visual of isolation some 500 miles away from us, across the sea. Finally, and thankfully, out of the darkness hope and talk of reconnections arrived, thanks to the golden threads of science, vaccines and the NHS… the red dots were re-huddled as strong threads of family anticipation, longing and enormous gratefulness towards that day.
I was thinking about the wheel of the year and the distorted passage on time in Lockdown. I was thinking about how it was a difficult time, but I still enjoyed plenty of golden moments of happiness and joy, especially outside in my garden.
AROUND IN CIRCLES
My patch is a traditional log quilt design. I thought it represents the feeling of going around in circles that some of us have felt during successive lockdowns. It’s also a reminder (as if we need reminding!) of some of the phrases that have become so familiar over the last year.
It was such a relief to work on my patches for the Lockdown quilt. Having something positive & productive to focus on gave me hope that there would be an end to the isolation felt by myself & many others during lockdown. It seemed only fitting that my patches be about my garden, a place that gave me much needed solace as the world around me span out of control. I dug myself an allotment & concentrated on growing food (something which I’ve never done before) and watched as tiny seeds grew into wholesome nourishing food for my family and I. Immersing myself into the nature found here in Great Yarmouth, was the easy prescription I needed to keep myself happy & healthy and is something I will continue to do forevermore.
PLOT 23A AND THE CLOCK
During lockdown, I was able to spend time at my allotment. The space, the birdsong and nurturing plants gave me much pleasure. The clock represents time passing and the necessity of adhering to government guidelines.
PLANTS AND SLOGANS
We all need something to care for and focusing on my indoor plants gives me purpose and great satisfaction. The words represent slogans of the nationwide campaign to prevent the spread of COVID and protect our NHS.
WORDS AND FACTS
My patches feature the new words and phrases that became common place terms during the pandemic. I also wanted to record some of the national facts and figures reported during our time making the quilt.
This is critically important and provides tangible benefits to our ecosystems and communities. It is so relaxing and pleasing observing wildlife up close, especially during times of stress. We can gain much comfort from these fantastic experiences.
MAP, WILDFLOWERS, BIRDS
When things were so intense during the height of the pandemic with increasing death rates, I found a walk through the countryside calmed my racing mind and boosted my morale. It was a scary time having three of our five children and their families living away in cities, two living locally but one working, a college teacher, and our daughter heavily pregnant. We were unable to spend time with any of them physically so kept in touch by phone and computer. The map in the middle of this piece is of a regular walk, taken during lockdown, from the allotments on Tar Works Road following a path past Bure Park which heads towards Acle. The birds and wildflowers depicting the countryside along the way.
As we entered the unknown world of the pandemic we were bombarded with many words. This is an attempt to serve up a dish of some of them.
It is all about the science…. focusing on the ubiquitous, during the lockdown, Corona virus illustration so beautiful but so deadly.
Feeling sad, confused, broken by the lack of freedom. Sun is trying to break through the sadness and confusion (mixed up, muddled, jumbled). Head of an anonymous person (anyone) trapped person.
Suffocated – let go – free. Broken Heart – loss of people – missing people. Small Heart – blue for hope.
Overpowering – uncontrollable. Overwhelming – intense – powerful. Profound – heartfelt – sincere for reaching. Blue Heart – encouragement, stability, wisdom, faith, trust and confidence, support – admiration. Seaside – Normality, familiarity, regular, routine.
Trust: meaning something is safe and reliable. Confidence in the honesty or integrity of a personal thing. Comfort and Peace. Paradox of Trust. Trusting – Aware. Relaxed – Vigilant. Optimistic – Informed.
Stability: The quality, state or degree of being stable such as the strength to stand and endure.
Firmness: the property of a body that causes it when disturbed from the condition of equilibrium to develop forces or moments that restore the original conditions.
BUTTERFLIES AND DRAGONFLY
During lockdown my mum passed away, she was 89 yrs old. She didn’t have COVID she was just old and tired. This panel reminds me of her garden. The lavender is a memory from my childhood when mum collected the lavender and made it into scented bags. We spent many hours in her beautiful garden watching Dragonflies skim over the pond. Then land in a row along the washing line. Happy, tranquil, precious memories. Tranquillity means “a state of peace and quiet” calmness, peacefulness, quiet and serenity.
HOPE ANCHORS THE SOUL
Symbols of hope: Dove, Sunflower, Daffodil, Cactus, Butterfly.
Words: Empowered, Restrained, Broken, Separated, Hopelessness.
Desperation: Anxiety, Fear, Sorrow, Misery, Distress.
Hands are tied searching for faith, love and hope. Restricted from normal freedom. Feeling broken and trapped. Sunflower for the symbol of Hope. A person who has hope has the will to achieve their goals and encourages the mind to create different strategies to accomplish all tasks. Hope changes the mindset of people to enable them to succeed.