COVID-19 Quilt

Artist: Nicole Kemp, Ormond, Melbourne
Medium: Embroidery – 114cm x 93cm hand-embroidered quilt

Artist Statement: ‘During both Melbourne lockdowns, staying in contact with my creative friends meant Zooming. I challenged many to record their thoughts, feelings and reactions to our new Covid lifestyle by producing small 10 x 10cm embroideries that recorded our reactions to local and world affairs each week. Others moved onto to other projects but for me it became a way to order my thoughts, slow my mind and calm my anxiety. Started in late March 2020 and completed in January 2021, I began to link the embroidered patches together by patching and stitching. Words that I had recorded in my sketch books were then added.

‘Every stitch contains a piece of me. It helped control my mind, as the world appeared to spiral out of control.’ Nicole Kemp

I’m proud to present this art quilt that represents all the pain, happiness, fear, politics, social upheavals that we have all experienced since COVID-19 changed our lives. A year in the making. Made in the kitchen, the lounge room, down on the floor, it evolved completely out of my control. My emotions directed it. Every stitch contains a piece of me. It helped control my mind, as the world appeared to spiral out of control. Some days it was very hard to work on it. Like Covid, it seemed like I would never reach the end of it. Some days it was a joy. It’s precious. I thought about all the women who have made story quilts over the centuries. I channelled them and they inspired me to keep going. Thanks Ladies. You have not been forgotten.’

HT 57078 – See the completed embroidered COVID-19 quilt created by Nicole Kemp

With the support of the Office for Suburban Development, this quilt has been acquired into Museum Victoria’s State Collection.

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