This will be a collaboration between older people in Derbyshire and arthur+martha, creating artwork and poetry from the reminiscences of the First and Second World Wars. We’ll stitch together a living, emotional document of that time, contrasting the so-called gentleness of rural life and traditions, with the hardship and the need to change. We’ll particularly investigate what happened when the devastating wars of the 20th century shattered rural traditions and scattered families…
In collaboration with older people and volunteers, arthur+martha will realise two embroidered quilts, layering poetic lines of memory and drawings embroidered onto handmade and recycled fabrics to build an artwork rich with experience and feeling. Reminiscence will be collected during sessions as short videos and recorded as oral history. This will be edited together with historical photographs, photos of the artwork and participants memorabilia in the form of short films.
Stitching the Wars will be a legacy left by all involved, a unique way of sharing and passing on history. The finished quilts, poems and films might be a conduit for the grief and anger of those who have lived through the wars or lost a loved one, but also celebrate lives lived, in an act of community remembrance.
In addition to funding from The Arts Council England, we are delighted to announce we’ve also received funding from Derbyshire Community Foundation, Derbyshire Dales Council, Derbyshire County Council. Workshop hosts and partners on the project are Age UK, The National Trust, The Farming Life Centre, The WI, and The Quilters Guild of Great Britain, and the Alzheimer's Society.