Material Memory : A Community Quilting Project

Exciting news! We have embarked on the next phase of the Sense, life histories quilting journey; Material Memory at the Islington Museum. This project follows on from  the successful Tactile Histories community quilt made with Bethnal Green participants at The V&A Museum of Childhood.

Together, a diverse group of Islington residents, who had previously never met, will tell their own life histories, their responses to their shared local space of Islington and  their shared experiences on their Material Memory journey.

Taking the form of an open book, and employing various art, audio technology and craft techniques the quilt will grow and evolve as the project progresses. Panels of image, text and material imbedded with sound are made each week in response to topics generated through conversation, shared interests and objects from the museums’ archives.

The Islington group will weave a patchwork of their own life histories with Islington’s colourful heritage, and it is hoped, make new friends and have a deeper appreciation of their shared part of London.  Weekly meetings will see the group discovery common ground and make fabric responses to it over the course of 12 sessions.

Ultimately, it will be the group who decide upon the design for the final outcome and the finished quilt will be displayed at Islington museum, taking pride of place in the museum’s glass fronted foyer.

It is already evident that this group are a creative and  engaged  bunch,  brimming with ideas. They come from a wonderfully rich and  diverse backgrounds and bring life stories and a readiness to share their experiences. Mix this with a fantastically accommodating venue with loads of resources, and I for one, can’t wait to see what unfolds!

Watch this space for regular Material Memory updates…

Author: Alex McEwan

Alex is an artist who specialises in inclusive and accessible community arts projects, such as Sense's TEXTtile and Quilt Tales.

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