Sunday, 19 September 2021
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  • Textile Details

    'The People make the city', by Janet Wilkinson & Susan Beck. (Photo: Susan Beck)
    'The People make the city', by Janet Wilkinson & Susan Beck. (Photo: Susan Beck)


    Title of Textile:The People make the city
    Maker: Janet Wilkinson and Susan Beck
    Country of Origin: England
    Year Produced: 2011
    Size (cm): 48cm x 49cm
    Materials: recycled donated fabrics, yarn, thread, wadding, nylon tights, wire, hand and machine stitched
    Type of Textile: Arpillera

    In 2009/2010 as part of the Threads of Life exhibition hosted by the Liverpool World museum, a series of well attended community textile workshops on the theme of heritage took place. These workshops, where children and adults shared their life stories through making arpilleras, resulted in the creation of several textile pieces.

    The People make the city is a reflective piece by Janet Wilkinson and Susan Beck on the workshop process and subsequent exhibitions. "It was their story [workshop participants] we were telling with our arpillera." comments Susan.

    In this piece the iconic buildings of Liverpool, a seafaring port on the river Mersey, are depicted. However, as Susan and Janet both acknowledge: "it is the people who live in it that make the city and are at its heart." In this case, based on the diverse origins of those who attended the workshops, the "heart" of Liverpool, is made up of people who had settled in this port, throughout the ages, from all over the world including Africa, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, England, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Scotland, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Yemen. Only some were originally from Liverpool

    The value of fostering shared understanding between diverse groups is emphasised by Susan: "In any city when the people meet together to talk and share their lives then we move closer to understanding, compassion and peace in the community."

    Owner: Conflict Textiles collection
    Location: c/o Johanna Menzinger, Freiburg, Germany
    Original / Replica: Original
    Photographer: Susan Beck

    Textile exhibited at: Stitching Peace: An exhibition of Arpilleras and Quilts, 16/02/2011 - 18/03/2011
    Stitching Peace: An exhibition of arpilleras and quilts, 17/05/2011 - 25/05/2011
    Story Makers 2008-2011, Twenty-five textile stories, 13/03/2012 - 18/06/2012
    Stitching and Unstitching The Troubles-phase 1, 5/09/2012 - 29/09/2012
    Arpilleras in contested spaces, 3/09/2013 - 6/09/2013
    Women 31 , 7/03/2014 - 15/04/2014
    COSIENDO PAZ: Conflicto, Arpilleras, Memoria , 26/03/2015 - 30/09/2015
    COSIENDO PAZ: Conflicto, Arpilleras, Memoria, 8/10/2015 - 4/04/2016
    COSIENDO PAZ: Conflicto, Arpilleras, Memoria STITCHING PEACE: Conflict, Arpilleras, M, 13/04/2016 - 12/06/2016
    Stitched Voices / Lleisiau wedi eu Pwytho, 25/03/2017 - 13/05/2017
    Stitched Voices: Knowing conflict through textiles, 17/11/2017 - 20/12/2017
    Stitched Voices - textila berättelse om politisk våld och motstånd , 29/08/2018 - 21/04/2019
    Retrospective, back to the future 1989-2019-2030/RÜCK BLICK NACH VORNE 1989-2019-2030, 4/05/2019 - 31/10/2019
    Poesie des Nähens / The Poetry of Stitching, 17/01/2020 - 8/03/2020
    WE CANNOT WALK ALONE – Refugee week 2021 , 5/05/2021 - 21/06/2021
    Suitcases: Telling Textile Travels, 1/10/2021 - 7/11/2021

    Textile Detail Image(s)