Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Woodland in Winter: a quilt

The fingers of Phil Barraclough, author of the poem below

Woodland in Winter

Woodland in winter it's bloody cold
icy crackling days, cold dark nights.

Winter in the woods came upon my life 
by my own design, to sit here a lonely man 
and there is sat a bird, a fictitious thing of all ways 
in nothing to see a beauty in grey and green 
its hungry eyes telling me to feed him 
and all I had was bread to warm him 
I used my coat and wrapped him in 
yet unto my eyes he stared and to sleep I went.

(I wake from the cold and find I have shrunk
To a five inch fool.)

Phil Barraclough

The decision has finally been made. After much reading, pondering, discussion, sampling, text arranging and the tearing up of small pieces of paper, we know what the poem around the edge of the SING ME TO SLEEP quilt will be and how it will be laid out. Now it simply needs to be stitched. Here is the day of the latest big push, as the stitchers gather around the quilt once more at The Booth Centre. Interspersed through the design on the main body of the quilt are other lines, including some in Lithuanian.

This quilt is one in a series of quilts/textworks for arthur+martha projects which attempt to distil the experience of many people coming together in community. This is the second quilt made with homeless people in Manchester; two other quilts are accounts of rural life during and between the world wars, as told and stitched by older people in Derbyshire, many of whom have dementia.

SING ME TO SLEEP is a collaboration between homeless people in the UK and Lithuanian. The project has been devised by arthur+martha in partnership with the Lithuanian arts organisation Socialiniai meno projektai; it is funded by the Arts Council.

Lois, Janine, Barry, Brian, Phil around the table at the Booth Centre

Barry, in charge of stitching and astonishingly cheeky jokes

Andris designing a teleporting bird

Janine and Barry, the bird in the foreground was stitched by Jack

Janine stitching "To see a beauty"

Brian gave us his quiet and intense concentration

Phil B, still cursing

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