About

The project

Artists everywhere were invited to make and donate a panel, set to a template, on the understanding that it would be stitched together with others for exhibition. The act of stitching has proven mental health benefits, and it was decided that any funds raised by it after basic expenses are met, would go to the mental health charity, MIND.

Now complete, The Covid Chronicle measures 35 x 1 metres, and is comprised of 140 panels, curated for colour and style into metre square units. Whilst it is hoped a permanent home may eventually be found for it to remain in its entirety, we recognise this may not happen, in which case panels will be offered for auctioned with proceeds going to MIND.

The panels have been catalogued so visitors can register their interest in bidding for any particular square by emailing : thecovidchroniclepatchwork@gmail.com, stating which panel reference number they might be interested in buying. This commits you to nothing, it simply means you will be notified when the work goes to auction. Please note the panels will be offered for sale as metre squares, and will not be dismantled into individual pieces of work.  If The Covid Chronicle does go to auction, those who have registered will be notified of the auction date and subsequent outcome.

If anyone would like to support the project's continuation, there is a Crowdfunding page where you can help us keep the show on the road. Given its reception to date, this important piece of art history needs to be seen by as many as possible.

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/thecovidchronicle

"The Covid Chronicle is a stitched textile of one hundred and forty parts. It is the result of a masterpiece of vision by artist Wendy Bliss. To have recognised that this epidemic was worthy of recording by seeking an international response through interpretation of thoughts was unique in itself, but to have collated and organised the resulting testaments with needle and thread is a triumph. The work clearly demonstrates mental creativity and agility from all those who have so skillfully stitched their memories transposing them into a moving and unique work of art."  Diana Springall.

Thanks

This project has generated so much enthusiasm and support, if I were to list all the names I'd never stop, the list just keeps growing. But I can make a solid start with my husband, Vaughan, who helped me brainstorm ideas in February 2021 as to how I might create something of value out of something so disruptive and destructive - and for all his support since I made the leap into the then unknown world of The Covid Chronicle, with all its challenges along the way.  I'd like to thank Maxwell Flood and Liam Murphy for their early securing of the name on social media and in readiness for this website, and to Jessica Flood-Murphy & Matilda Fox for their help navigating behind the scenes of Instagram & Facebook.

Without the engagement of the amazing artists represented here, there would be no project, so my heartfelt gratitude and thanks go to all those who embraced this project with their time, talents & trust, to craft and donate their personal stories so beautifully shared in images and text. I would like to thank you all for the friendly chatter behind the scenes, and to Michelle Gilder for organising 15 makers in Iran.

Without my 'Dream Seam Team' who helped me stitch together and line the panels, I may have struggled to turn around the assembly of 140 panels into lined metre-blocks in time for exhibiton: notably Elizabeth Reid, Kristin Ursell & Diane Boiling, along with Patricia Fraser, Jane Thomson, Lucy Tubbs, Deb Farmelo, Jan Hopkins, Jenny Jeffris, Jenny Myers and Manoela Grigorova; also Nick Bolt, Maxine Pringle, Diane Boiling & Debbie Stewart, for their advice on hanging systems for textiles.

Maxwell Flood of Grotesk Studio gave guidance on how to photograph / size the work for the website & printing, designed the Covid Chronicle logo and constructed this beautiful website; Nick Bolt arranged the work and words ready for printing the catalogue; Michael Escolme masterminded video interview, and shared it with all the other venues; Diana Springall wrote an enthusiastic endorsement for the project.

My thanks to Marcus Beale Architects, whose continued support for my community arts endeavours are very much appreciated; also friend Peter Thomson for his tireless efforts trying to secure exhibitions with NHS Trusts, chasing illusive funding opportunities, and for introducing me to Lightbox and Riverside Studios; and to Tinx Newton writing for Surrey Life.

Similarly, I am grateful to the galleries who shared my vision early on, in particular the teams lead by Barbara Robertson (Sunbury), Melissa Barnett (Chippenham), Colin Simpson (Williamson, Birkenhead), Michael Escolme (Spode, Stoke on Trent), Peter Hall (Lightbox, Woking), Marcus Beale (Merton Priory), Lucy Grudniewicz (Riverside, Hammersmith), Rosemary Cassidy-Buswell (Studio 40 in Neath), & Lesley Watts (CW+).

For those who supported the project in other ways, I'd like to thank all the generous souls who donated to the original Crowdfunding page to help fund the core expenses of getting things up and running smoothly. [A new one has been set up for maintenance costs: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/thecovidchronicle].

The next task is to find a museum or collector, once the tour is over, who would recognise the value in keeping The Covid Chronicle in its entirety as an investment for the future. If anyone reading this can help raise TCC's head above the parapet with an introduction to the right people in the right places (e.g. V&A, Courtauld Institute, British Library and many more) I would love to hear from you.

Thank you all,

Wendy.

Exhibitions

Location
Dates
Opening times
Sunbury Embroidery Gallery
Thames Street, Sunbury-on-Thames, TW16 6AB
23 Feb - 3 Apr 2022
Tue - Fri: 11am - 4pm
Sat - Sun: 11am - 4pm
Chippenham Art Gallery & Museum
9-10 Market Place, Chippenham, Wiltshire SN15 3HF
9 Apr – 7 May 2022
Mon - Fri: 10am - 4pm
Sat: 10am - 4pm
Lightbox Gallery
Chobham Rd, Woking GU21 4AA
17 May - 19 Jun 2022
Tue - Fri: 10.30am - 5pm
Sat - Sun: 11am - 4pm
Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
Riverside Studios 101 Queen Caroline Street Hammersmith London W6 9BN
29 Jul - 29 Aug 2022
Mon - Fri: 11am - 11pm
Sat - Sun: 10am - 11pm
Merton Priory Chapter House
Merton Abbey Mills, Watermill Way (entrance in underpass to Savacentre) SW19 2RD
4th - 25th Sept 2022
Sundays: 10-4
Spode Museum Trust Heritage Centre
Elenora Street, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire ST4 1QQ
30th Sept - 30th Oct 2022
Wed - Sun: 10.30-4
Williamson Art Gallery & Museum
Slatey Rd, Oxton, Birkenhead, Prenton CH43 4UE
10th Nov 2022 - 3rd Jan 2023
Wed, Thurs: 10.30 - 5 ; Fri: 10.30 - 9
Sat: 10.30 - 4.30
Studio 40
40 Queen Street, Neath, SA11 1DL
14th Jan - 25th Feb 2023

Contact

If you are interested in buying one of the pieces or represent a gallery and would like to exhibit the Covid Chronicle, please dont hesitate to get in contact with us.
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