Sunday, 19 February 2017

Fresh Air & Poverty

Fresh Air & Poverty at the National Trust's Lyme Park

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.

Around the edge of the quilt 'Fresh Air & Poverty' is stitched an edit of the following poem.

JUMBLE SALE material
‏rag rug offcuts
‏for a few pence
‏Mother would knit, re-knit, unpick
‏if you'd a Mother like ours
‏you'd be dressed coloured-ly

‏don't know how she COPED
‏6 children + COLD water in the taps
‏sat sewing squares
‏similar to these
‏leftovers from dresses
‏Mum in bed telling us her stories
‏no pillowcase
‏chicken feathers in a sack

‏crochet, embroidery, all the things
‏Grandma taught and a
‏heavy army coat on top
‏shake it up, lay it on the

In Springtime
TRAMPS walk to Bakewell
Coarse hands
Keep colds at bay
Queue, there's nothing left
Two little love birds


Margery Healy and Joan Dronfield
1 Feb 2016