The Covid Chronicle

A Giant Worldwide Art Installation in Textiles and Stitch

www.thecovidchronicle.org

The underlying feeling woven through the fabric of my own pandemic experience is that of overwhelming fortune. We stayed home, stayed safe.  The sun shone, the plants grew. It was OK. For us, it was OK. We enjoyed the sunshine, the clear skies and the peace. I watched the cherry tree at the bottom of my garden blossom and I daydreamed about an end to the isolation.

 

In contrast, the nights were hard.  My square for the Covid Chronicle depicts the hours I spent awake in the dark and the silver trees I repeatedly dreamed of burned into my closed eyelids.

 

I missed my family, my friends, the connection, the company.  Time pulled at the threads holding us together and keeping a firm grip on them felt increasingly exhausting.  The cherry tree, blossoming for the second time in lockdown, still an optimistic harbinger of change, its symbolism now overworked and faded.

 

Literally stitching my own story to that of others seemed like a perfect antidote to the disconnect I felt.  My mother and I both creating our own squares sit in silence over video calls simultaneously stitching our own experiences into existence.

A thin red thread connecting mine to hers.

Covid Chronicles For Web 2.jpg

Hold Tight, Stay Safe, Slip Away.

Exhibition Venues and Dates

 
Sunbury Embroidery Gallery      
23 Feb - 3 Apr 2022

Thames Street, Sunbury-on-Thames,

TW16 6AB

Tue - Fri: 11am - 4pm
Sat - Sun: 11am - 4pm
Chippenham Art Gallery & Museum     
9 Apr – 7 May 2022

9-10 Market Place, Chippenham, Wiltshire

SN15 3HF

Mon - Fri: 10am - 4pm
Sat: 10am - 4pm
Lightbox Gallery   
17 May - 19 Jun 2022

Chobham Rd, Woking

GU21 4AA

Tue - Fri: 10.30am - 5pm
Sat - Sun: 11am - 4pm
 
Riverside Studios, Hammersmith     
29 Jul - 29 Aug 2022

Riverside Studios 101 Queen Caroline Street

Hammersmith London W6 9BN

Mon - Fri: 11am - 11pm
Sat - Sun: 10am - 11pm
 

Merton Priory Chapter House     

4th - 25th September 2022

Merton Abbey Mills, Watermill Way

SW19 2RD

Weekends only
Sundays: 10am - 4pm
Spode Museum Trust Heritage Centre     
30th Sept - 30th Oct 2022

Elenora Street, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire

ST4 1QQ

Wed - Sun: 10.30am - 4pm
 
Williamson Art Gallery & Museum     
10th Nov 2022 - 3rd Jan 2023

Slatey Rd, Oxton, Birkenhead, Prenton

CH43 4UE

Wed, Thurs: 10.30am - 5pm ; Fri: 10.30am - 9pm
Sat: 10.30am - 4.30am
Studio 40     
14th Jan - 25th Feb 2023

40 Queen Street, Neath,

SA11 1DL

Times TBA

4

Wishstones

There he is, out in the garden, fork in hand, digging for potatoes.  Here he comes,  great earthy hands outstretched, offering red jewelled berries from the redcurrant bush by the gate; chuckling at my face as I wince from their sharpness and reach for another.  I can still hear him, clearing his throat, paper on his lap, the sound of cricket and static coming from the portable radio.  My Grandad, sitting, eyes closed, face to the sun, on an old dining chair outside his shed with his tea going cold.  I remember.

 

Clearing his shed, years later, we found a bootlace strung with stones.  Ancient talismans with water-worn holes from the relentless caress of streams and currents.  Tiny monuments to the passing of time, unearthed and kept as trinkets. Grandad called them "Wish-Stones".  

 

There I am, alone on the beach, grey sea, grey sky, grey stone in hand, feeling the weight of the past.  I hold it up to the horizon, put my eye to the hole, frame the future and make my wish.

 

Here it is.  My bootlace, strung with talismans of my own.  "Find me a wish stone!" I call.  My children run to me, bright eyed, tiny hands outstretched offering sea-worn treasure ready to string; chuckling as I hold them up to the horizon and we make our wishes.  Here I sit, eyes closed, face to the sun. The sound of my husband and children playing by the shore washes over me; our past and futures strung together, wish-stones in the palm of my hand.

 

...and I remember.

Naomi Adams

 

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