Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Assortment of things

Dad walks the valley
‏When icicles hang the wall
‏And Greasy Jane kneels the pot
‏He cobbled our shoes with old bike tyres
‏The sheets he cut down the middle
‏And sewed from the outside
‏"There's lots of wear left in them."
‏And Dick the Shepherd blows his fingers.
‏He walks miles for his work
‏And nightly sings the stirring owl
‏"A spoonful of Emulsion - cheaper
‏Than Cod Liver Oil, or Malt."
‏Rent 8 shillings, the Widow's Pension 11
‏And Tom brings logs into the hall.       
‏Mary Nicholson
‏Nov 2015

In 2014 artist Lois Blackburn began working on two history quilts with older people in rural Derbyshire. Stitching the Wars is the story of a community that survived two world wars and harsh poverty. It is a kind of documentary, constructed with recollection, poetry, and the art of stitching. Perhaps in making it, a few wounds were healed.

‏A series of poems accompany the quilts. All of the stories and poems here are people's own words. They speak not only of violence, or sadness, but also of great affection for the past, for their fellow humans, and for the beauty of the land around them. In love and in hate, in war and in peace, you'll find their words here, set among stitched fields of greens and browns and blood red.

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