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Lock-down Tapestries

A community project for all ages
led by the churches of Fulbourn and the Wilbrahams  

For hundreds of years people have made art about the big events of their lives. Large fabric hangings, embroidered, sewn, and painted, have offered a way for communities to remember and process their shared experiences. From battles to religious movements, myths and legends to tales of resistance: we have often turned to fabric when we have needed to weave together our lives to make one common story.

We want to make a series of ‘tapestries’* that will help us to do this weaving together of the threads of our different lives in these strange months. Anyone can take part – any age, any skill level – since it is our being together that matters. Whether you are a skilled sewist or a virtuoso finger-painter, we want you to contribute. The finished tapestries will be patchworks, with each person or family completing a square exploring one of our three themes. 

 

The three themes

You can choose to make a square interpreting one of these three themes. If you would like to do more than one square in order to do more than one theme - that’s fine too!

Life in lockdown

No one in our villages has ever experienced anything quite like this. For so many weeks we have been stuck at home. Can you even remember the first few days of the lockdown? What has life been like for the last few months? What have you got up to at home? What new skills have you picked up? What have you spent your time doing? What has been hard to bear? How has it all made you feel? Your square could represent something you will remember about your lockdown experience.

Grateful hearts

Every week we have clapped and cheered our care workers who have been treating this horrible virus. There are so many other people we are grateful to: those who run our village shops, our post office and our butchers and our greengrocers; our postmen and dustmen; our clergy and our councillors; our doctors and our pharmacists; our teachers and our farmers; our community aid volunteers. Your square might thank one of these people, or express gratitude for your family, friends, or the beautiful world around us.

Hope for the future

We are now beginning to be allowed out a little more. There are glimpses of normal life returning, although there are many weeks and months ahead when we will still be cooped up at home. But perhaps we have begun to look ahead, to consider what the world might be like after lockdown. Will things go back to ‘normal’? Do we want everything to be the same? Perhaps we can imagine a kinder, greener, safer, fairer world. Your square might imagine what this would look like – what changes might we hope for in our villages, or elsewhere in the world?


How to take part

1. To sign up, email fwparishassistant@gmail.com, with a note of which theme (or themes) you would like to work on. Please also mention whether or not you have craft supplies at home already, or whether you are starting from scratch.

2. We will then deliver a bag of basic materials to you, which will include a ‘base’ piece of fabric, cut to the right size, on which to work.

3. You’ll have around one month at home to get creative, with paint, pens, stitching, gluing. You might try your hand at ‘applique’, stitching on pads of fabric to make shapes and characters into a scene. Or you might simply paint or draw onto your square. It’s up to you! Just make sure everything is well fixed down so that it will last a long time.

4. When you’ve finished, we will ask you to deliver your squares to church. We will then stitch them all together. The finished tapestries will tour round each of the churches before being displayed more permanently.

We look forward to receiving your sign-ups!

*Technically not tapestries. Tapestries are woven with coloured thread, so the picture is in the fabric itself. We are using the term loosely. It sounds better than ‘hangings’, ‘appliques’, ‘patchworks’, though these would be more honest descriptions.