Imogen Di Sapia
This collective project, Blanket Without Borders, was begun after many conversations with artist friends who needed a creative outlet for the anger, passion, rage and hope that the current zeitgeist has called out in us all. By making and exploring our feelings in response to the injustices and needs at this junction in history, we hope to reach through the political rhetoric and into the hearts of one another, seeking what is possible for the greater good with what we have in our hands; the thread and ink of our human family. I start to think about those stories in our blood, the journey of our ancestors, our grandparents and friends; how did I get to be washed-up on this island, at this time. By seeking my world heritage, I become aware of others, by exploring my immigrant blood, I unite cultures within myself; I create a language and I begin to understand. I invoke compassion, empathy and connection; a conversation with other women, in blankets, on boats, looking for a home.
“Mother-Land” embroidery by Imogen Di Sapia
Like so many others, I was left feeling devastated about Brexit, and even more so by the subsequent occurrences of racism and xenophobia in our country. I instinctively wanted to connect with my artistic friends – my kindred spirits who I knew would also be seeking to spread a message of compassion and unity. We want to create a piece of work together, to express our solidarity with the wider creative community – a community no political decisions can divide.
“Refugee Girls” A3 Machine Embroidery by Liza Stevens
My aim to is to create stories in my work through many different mediums. I want my art to tell a story, or for the viewer find a story of their own.
“Little Match Girl”embroidery by Melodie Stacey
There are walls going up everywhere at the moment. The hard hats and safety jackets of foreign policy and immigration capping are busily and industriously inspecting plans for bigger and better walls to keep us safe. To hide us. Perhaps to some extent these walls do protect us – a sprinkling of invisible black salt around daily changing borders. But they also encase us. They’re cold. They keep them out, and they keep us in. I exist because my ancestors chose to climb the walls, not really so very long ago. I am able to forge a creative language because they chose intimacy and connection. Love is a place without walls, where the same sun shines on us all and the same waters of our sea trickle over all of our toes. It’s our role as artists to start tearing them down, one slow brick at a time, and weaving something better.
“A Winter Journey” by Eleanor Conlon
The world is simmering about to bubble over – we are on an axis teetering on the brink of something; something that will bring huge change to the world that our future histories will be a part of. On one side is the sticky and all consuming fear, it binds us in a quagmire. It is seductive and hard to get out of once you are in it. It can be seen everywhere: media headlines thrive on it, capitalism gets fat from it. Brexit and the rise of Donald Trump are the creatures that slump out from it. You can see eyes darting this way and that, over the shoulder glancing, quick shuffling and jutted pointed fingers. Walls, red tape, shooting, shouting, barbed wire and border control.
Let’s stop for a second and take a breath.
Begin by smiling a deep soul smile.
We can open our eyes wide and wondering,
stretch our arms out far to touch the other.
Let’s start here, by taking a breath.
I choose the other side of the axis and I choose to turn my head away from fear. Love, compassion and unity is stronger and lays within us all. So lets weave our golden threads, spin a yarn so strong that fear cannot pass through. Paint our stories and inspire a hundred more stories to be told. Let’s celebrate that which binds us all and re-see this beautiful world we have the possibility of truly living in together.