Here are fragments of stories, the lives of homeless people, embroidered onto quilts and painted on ceramics, by the tellers themselves in collaboration with artists Lois Blackburn and Claire Parker and writer Philip Davenport. They are responses to simple questions – which don’t have simple answers. When were you warm? When were you cold? Created out of denim fabric, the quilt is made of denim from recycled pairs of jeans – twenty-seven in all.
The project challenges stereotypes about homelessness, combating hate crime against homeless people and emphasizing needs shared by us all – especially shelter and acceptance.
Phil said: “The quilts are traditional, but also represent warmth, hospitality and the home – and the stories they tell are preserved through touch. It’s a very ancient ritual we’ve tapped into, the passing on of personal histories.”
Lines from the denim quilt were shown as text animations by the BBC, on Big Screens in Manchester and Liverpool in November and December 2012.
In partnership with The Booth Centre and The Big Issue in the North. Supported by Arts Council England
160 Homeless participants, 22 student participants
2017 Manchester Central Library. Audience approx 57,000
2013 Summerhall, Edinburgh. Audience 2000
2012/13 Holden Gallery, Manchester. Audience 1000
2012/13 BBC Big Screens, Liverpool and Manchester. Audience approx 1,800,000
Blog arthur-and-martha.blogspot.co.uk On-line audience 9000
On-line portfolio https://www.flickr.com
Press and media coverage
Manchester Evening News, one story and feature