30 Silver Street, Reading, RG1 2ST

Reading Lockdown Quilt - grand unveiling

Amy's picture

Yesterday, the Rising Sun's Quilt Team unveiled Reading Lockdown Quilt. It was a thrilling, nailbiting, race against time.

Here is our quilty story...

In May 2020 Larry Watson had an idea: invite everyone in Reading to share their experiences of lockdown by creating a quilt. A communal, shared, collective response to a strange, unknown pandemic. At first digitally and then in real life.

From desperate locked-down houses in Reading, slowly but surely patch after patch emerged. Hundreds of Reading residents spoke. You sent in videos, stills, drawings, artwork, poems, songs, yoga challenges, dances, essays, letters, Facebook posts…the digital quilt was born. The opening of each email submission always caused a ripple within our quilty team… some made us laugh, some made us shed a tear, others made us fist-pump... 

The fabric tapestry symbolizes the easing of lockdown and a hopeful end to isolation. Every patch from the digital quilt has a physical form to symbolize a return to human contact and togetherness. Patches nestle alongside each other in a kaleidoscope… words, buildings, houses, artworks.

The Quilt Team is made up of an awesome, insanely talented bunch of people: Sue Carson, Neile Wright, Ravinder Kaur, Doon Lovett, Amy Gibb, Nicola Tipler, Larry Watson and Helen Westhrop.

The sheer amount and power of creativity from hundreds of households across Reading has been astonishing. We hope you enjoy looking at the quilt and that you get a chance to visit in the main hall the Rising Sun soon. It will stay hung in the main hall until the end of August. It will then take on a life of its own. 

Posted by Amy on behalf of the Quilt Team. 

PS. And in case you were wondering… things we have talked about whilst sewing: hand-stitching vs machine stitching; rules and freedoms of quilting; representation and discrimination within film/tv industry; biscuits; the merits of Gareth Southgate’s managerial style; past lives spent living in Zimbabwe; government schemes to combat drug induced psychosis…

PPS. The digital quilt can be viewed here: https://www.risingsunartscentre.org/quilt.html



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