Covid-19: Update from The Quilt Association
17 May 2020
Newsletter – May 2020
‘The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft agley….’
This quote from Robert Burns’ poem To A Mouse (which he wrote in 1785 after he’d destroyed its nest when ploughing) is probably resonating with a lot of us right now.
Our last newsletter, in February, was full of the schemes and plans we were hatching for 2020 but, like everyone, we suddenly find ourselves in an unexpected and, let’s be honest, sometimes quite scary world.
Once lockdown began we acted quickly, with our Vintage Style Fair closing a few days early. And then, like a line of dominoes, every other event in our calendar began to fall. The eagerly awaited World Textiles Day Wales, which attracts hundreds of visitors, was postponed – currently rescheduled for 24th October but we have to wait and see how things work out. Next to fall was 20:20 Visions, the biennial exhibition by our local quilt group, The Welsh Heritage Quilters. Again, we’re hoping to run this over the Easter period next year – time will tell. After that the inevitable happened. Our spring exhibition (and this is probably what prompted my Robbie Burns memory) was to have featured the work of the Scots contemporary group Turning Point Art Textiles who had made some work especially for us called Walking With Minerva, and also the work of some of Hilary Beattie’s students, which had already been postponed from the previous year owing to Hilary’s bout of illness. These are indeed strange times, and I have no photos to post of an exhibition that never was.
However, I can give you a link so that you can see our 2019 spring exhibition! Entitled Wild, it featured work by the group collectively known as Art Textiles: Made in Britain. The names of the textile artists in this group will be very familiar to many of you – Bethan Ash, Louise Baldwin, Pauline Barnes, Jessica Grady, Cas Holmes, Rosie James, Edwina Mackinnon, Sandra Meech, Sylvia Paul, Stephanie Redfern, and Christine Restall, are some of the leading textile artists working in Britain today. Also a member of the group at the time was Hilary Beattie and more of her work, alongside that of Jenny Rolfe, featured in the exhibition in our smaller gallery, which was called The Language of Flowers. If you haven’t seen this really lovely video (which was made by Jackie Newey) before, you must watch it. If you have, it’s always worth another viewing!! You’ll probably be humming the music for days afterwards. I always am!
Here’s the link:
As things stand now, we have no idea what the future holds. The Wool And Willow Festival, which we host every June, is postponed until next year. We don’t envisage being able to host the annual Dathliad exhibition – which features the art and design work of students from our local High School – or hold our summer exhibition. Even with a lifting of lockdown rules, we imagine there will still be social distancing and both of the latter two events rely on volunteers to steward them. As a lot of our volunteers are over 70 they may well still be shielding at that point.
Our Building, our Trustees and future plans
Our building is now in good shape after a lot of hard work and dedication by our trustees. One of the founders of the Quilt Association, Doreen Gough, who many of you will be familiar with, has now stepped back as an active Trustee although we still rely heavily on her knowledge of antique quilts in general and of our own collection more specifically. Our plans to extend the quilt store and to purchase new display screens have had to go ‘on hold’ at the moment. The loss of income from the hire of Minerva for all of the events I’ve mentioned has hit us hard financially.
We are aiming to raise funds to cover this loss of income and hope that some of our supporters will be able to make a small donation to help us achieve this goal. We know that a lot of people, both individuals, businesses and other charities like us are struggling at this time and need our help. But if you are able to spare even a small amount for us, we would really appreciate it.
Please follow this link to our fundraising page:
I’ll update you again when we have a better idea of what’s happening, but in the meantime remember:
Stay Home and Stay Safe.
Minerva Arts Centre
Copyright The Quilt Association 2020