In May 2020, four artists began a collaborative textile project that would harness the power of craft to calm and connect us during the Covid-19 pandemic. The resulting artwork - an emotive community quilt with over 500 contributions - is going on tour!
Whilst running printmaking workshops in Cheltenham, artist and event organiser Sue Brown noticed the severe impact lockdowns had made on small businesses. Realising “everyone has their own isolation story and we can help tell it”, she reached out to her creative peers; Louise Asher of Hope & Elvis in Nottinghamshire, Liske Johnson of Littleheath Barn Studios, Bromsgrove and textile artist Catherine Kingzett.
Same Sea, Different Boat demonstrates the power of craft as a force for good, helping us share stories, relieve stress and connect with one another, even in the hardest of times. Responding to the idea that we are not all “in the same boat”, but we are all undoubtedly “in the same sea”, each artist reached out to their international community for contributions. Each contributor was asked to produce a small 10x10cm printed and stitched textile composition.
Over 600 collagraph squares have now been assembled into 7 panels, producing a large scale community quilt. Each fabric patch illustrates an individual’s emotions and experience of life in the Covid-19 pandemic. At once personal and collective, themes of isolation, anxiety and hope are captured in each stitch. The project has been left open-ended to represent the unknowing ways Covid-19 may continue to shape our everyday lives.