After having worked for many years in other fields I decided after an accident which required me to convalesce when I filled my time embroidering, I decided to explore my creative side and enrolled on an Adult education access course in art at Batley Art College.
Whilst on the course, I realised that this was something that I had wanted to do for many years but not had the opportunity and so applied to do a Textile Design degree course at The University of Huddersfield. I successfully completed the course in 2020 achieving a first class honours degree. Since then I have been experimenting with various techniques and concepts.
My birthday was on 23/03/20 when the first lockdown in the Covid 19 pandemic was announced. I was still at University and had to complete my degree and submit it from home. During the short amount of time that this took the death toll from Corona Virus began to rise.
As the year has gone on and the fatalities have increased I have felt the need to produce a hand stitched piece of textile art commemorating the lives every person in the UK who died between 23/03/2020-23/03/2021.
The piece will be a large scale, hand embroidered memorial art work approximately 4.5m x 1.5m, in which each person who has died will be represented by one stitch. The art work will also include an embroidered representation of a Covid-19 molecule and the legend Covid-19 UK. The colours used in the embroidery will be minimal to provide impact.
It is my intention that the scale of the project helps people who see it to understand the enormity of the impact of the pandemic during one year and understand that for each stitch there are the families and friends left behind who are also affected. It will also put into perspective that this number was the death toll from one small country in a truly global pandemic.
Due to the large number of stitches involved it is anticipated that this work will take several months to complete as I will be the only one undertaking the embroidery.
I realise that the number of deaths in the UK from Covid-19 may increase beyond the time I have allocated however the time scale of one year from the first lockdown seemed an appropriate length of time to record the number of deaths with it being my birthday date.
The money that is raised will provide me with the appropriate amount of fabrics, threads and other embroidery materials to complete the project. Other monies will provide finance for promotion and exhibition of the work in the public domain.