When we first began exploring the idea in April 2020, we were inspired by two sources of textile works that have become major influences behind Threads Of Survival.
THE AIDS QUILT
The AIDS quilt emerged in the 1980’s when HIV began to take lives on a massive global scale. In America families began to sew quilted names of loved ones who were taken from them. Both to honour them and to fight the stigma that was attached to HIV/AIDS, and the gay community at the time.
The project still continues today and there are thousands of the Names Quilts in existence. When they are all gathered together and laid out they stretch for miles. This becomes The Aids Quilt and it is an incredible living monument.
Steve had encountered these powerful quilts at the Whitechapel Gallery in the late 90s. They are powerful because of their simple, bright, alost child-like portrayal of the atrocities committed by Pinochet during the 1970’s when he subjected Chile to authoritarian rule.
We were drawn to the determination and courage of the women who created these incredible historical documents, bearing witness to the events around them.
We have discovered a wonderful resource of Arpilleras and other textiles that document conflict and difficult times. Conflict Textiles is home to a large collection of international textiles, exhibitions and associated events, all of which focus on elements of conflict and human rights abuses. Conflict Textiles is an ‘Associated Site’ of CAIN (Conflict Archive on the INternet) at Ulster University, Northern Ireland.
Our latest stage in quilting. Find out more about how you could take part in Threads Of Survival.