A Necklace of Stars (2020-2022)

Margaret Giller Star detail

Beaded Star, Margaret Giller, June 2020

A Necklace of Stars is a collaboration between housebound, isolated older people in Derbyshire,  arthur+martha,  Arts Derbyshire   DCC Public Health and Derbyshire County Council Home Library Service. 

When life returns to normal the project will go into it’s next phase, working together in peoples own homes, with occasional meet ups in libraries across Derbyshire.  Alongside the quilt, a poem and song soundtrack will be inspired by lullabies. Text, image, dialogue, crafts and music will all combine. Lullabies bring calm and comfort, and also tell insightful stories that pass on the depth of human experience from generation to generation.

Marylyn MacLennan Stars

Shooting Stars, Marylyn MacLennan June 2020

We are working with The Institute of Mental Health, who will produce an independent report, pinpointing learning points and exploring the significance of this type of focussed work with a marginalised group. The aim is to achieve a new model of artistic practice with isolated older people. Loneliness is a huge problem for older people, The Campaign to End Loneliness states: Making art develops intimate connections […] it counters loneliness, brings togetherness/intimacy, builds confidence, enhances feelings of being valued.

Artist Lois Blackburn is leading the quilt design and making, poet Philip Davenport will lead the creative writing. We are excited to be working with singer songwriter Matt Hill aka The Quiet Loner, again, who will take the lead with creating  new lullabies.


After a year of workshops in people’s own homes, we will celebrate the work with community/participant events, and a 12-month exhibition tour around cultural venues across the country.

It’s a really exciting project and we would be thrilled if you could join us in getting involved.

For more examples of embroidered stars for the Necklace of Stars quilt, please visit:


cross stitch star

Cross stitch star, Lois Blackburn, May 2020


Jennens Liz

Stars, Liz Jennens, May 2020

A Necklace of Stars, is supported by Arts Council England, Arts Derbyshire, DCC Public Health and Derbyshire County Council Home Library Service.

AD_logo1_smallDerbyshire CC Logo no strapline purple


13 thoughts on “A Necklace of Stars (2020-2022)

  1. What a lovely project , really disappointed I can’t join in , I’m 60 and retired living in Derbyshire. I broke my back just 6 weeks ago so lock down has been a challenge in a brace. Good luck with this inspiring projecthe.


    1. Hi Yvonne, thank you so much for your kind words. I’m so sorry to hear about your back, I can only imagine how much pain, and how frustrating that must be. Although a Necklace of Stars doesn’t quite fit for you at the moment, perhaps you can take a look at our other project https://arthur-martha.com/portfolio/here-comes-the-sun/ Here Comes the Sun, is a project open to everyone, from everywhere. In the meantime, thanks again for your support, and good luck for a fast recovery. Take care, stay safe. All the best Lois (arthur+martha)


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