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Monday, 26 January 2015

See the final quilt on display at People's History Museum Sunday15th February

It’s finally time for the quilt to go on display!!!

Yes on the 15th February the community quilt will be displayed in People’s History Museum as part of the first National LGBT history Festival. I’m so pleased to be involved in the festival and I’m even more chuffed that the work will go on display in the place that it started.

I spent the majority of my Christmas holiday attached to my Mac and scanner uploading all the images that people had contributed and then working out how to construct the quilt into a 3 metre by 2.5 metre layout which could be fabric printed. I won’t get into the technical side of it but it was stressful and tiring but with the support of my patient partner, we got there in the end!
Once it was complete I sent the image off to the amazing digetex based in Trafford. They then printed everyone’s amazing contributions in five panels which will then be sewn together.
Here is a sneaky preview of the completed digital print of all the contributions. 
The work is now with the talented Deborah Cunliffe of Source Unknown and being constructed together. Due to the sheer scale of the work and the lack of space in my tiny house I have had to use outside help to get the job done in time for the launch. She’s worth every penny! If you look at the team on the LGBT festival website you’ll notice I’m Coordinating the Sunday programme. Debbie is doing me a huge favour with this work because it means I can concentrate more on promoting the festival!
This means however, I don’t actually know what the final outcome of the quilt will be. Above is a plan of the final image. I’ve only actually unrolled that tiny bit of the quilt so I don't know what it will all look like either. I don’t actually have enough room in my place to fully unravel the panels to see them collectively. I’m very excited to be seeing it finished soon though!

The last sessions of the project, at FACT and Museum of Liverpool

I wanted to write an update about my last session in the Museum of Liverpool but then Christmas came by and I got too distracted having a catch up with my family and friends. Now Christmas is over and I’ve gotten back in to the routine of work. I managed to find a little time to briefly catalogue the last session I did.
FACT were great and allowed me to use a large space, it worked really well as they had a lot of students from Cronton College in Widnes. They really surprised me how willing they were to get involved.
I also went back to Museum of Liverpool. I particularly enjoyed sitting with a group of Chinese students who had come from various parts of China, one of the student wrote the most elegant chinese calligraphy I had since with a really naff brush that had been over viewed by young people. It was incredibly impressive.
I also had the pleasure of talking with a Dutch mother. When I was a University I did an Erasmus exchange with Amsterdam for six month. Her ascent flooded back lots of memories for me and even helped me recall the three bits of Dutch I used whilst I was there: “Mooi,” “Alstublieft” and “dank u well” I literally wasn’t given an opportunity to learn anymore everyone knew English and were significantly better than my poor attempts at Dutch.
Once I head for my train home I randomly bumped into my boss Alison Clarke-Jenkins a North Director at Arts Council England. She was with her partner Paul Smith who I’d also previousily volunteered with a Liverpool Biennial. He was asking me how the project was going and asked if he could have a go whilst we were on the train. I was so made up! It was brilliant, neither of them could remember the last time they got to play with colours. I managed to take a couple of snapps of them as well which I’m very pleased with as well.
Interestingly Alison Clark-Jenkins chose Manchester City Centre MP Lucy Powell. Paul Smith chose Naomi Long, one of only two MPs in Northern Ireland that voted in support of Same Sex Marirage. What was also nice is that Alison and Paul tweeted about it and Naomi Long gave them a retweet!
I had a couple of images left over when I went home and managed to get my family to each do an image. My sister tweeted hers as well and there were some mean tweets against the MP that came back. We didn’t respond, I think they had beef with other political issues the MP is involved with. This project is about thanking them for voting for Same-Sex marriage bill- that is all. 
My next post is the more exciting post- the quilt is going to be on display publicly!

Saturday, 6 December 2014

The Prelaunch of the LGBT History Festival

I had the pleasure of attending the pre-launch to the first national LGBT history festival the Museum of The Order of St John, Clerkenwell, London
 I’m helping with coordination of the Sunday event on 15th February but on the night I was there to get more people contributing to the quilt project.
It felt like I was in a mini tornado, there were so many people! It was fantastic for the project as I got to meet so many activists in the LGBT community which was really special for me.
I did feel however like I needed a recording of my pitch to people because I repeated myself so much in such a short time.
I was able to see some of performances as well after I had done my time on the stall. I was able to watch performances by Diversity Choir and an extract from ‘For The Trumpets Shall Sound’ acknowledging contribution of LGBT people in World War One.
I felt really inspired by artist Sadie Lee she was a fantastic public speaker and as a portrait painter I really admire her subject matter and style.

She had incredible presence and had a really informed presentation which was fun!
As an added more recently I also had a session with Wednesday’s Stockport group.

  I volunteer regularly with this group and it was really great to get them involved with the quilt project and know that their contribution will be included into the quilt itself.