Berkhamsted residents invited to help create historic piece of public art

Volunteer needlework experts will be on hand to help people create their swatches

Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 12:58 pm

Community arts organisation Open Door and Berkhamsted’s Rectory Lane Cemetery are inviting local residents to take part in the creation of a historic piece of public art this week, to mark the beginning of the town’s emergence from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The collaboration, Down Rectory Lane, will see local residents capture their feelings of loss and their hopes for the future on fabric swatches, which will be incorporated into large woven textile panels.

The public are invited to the Rectory Lane Cemetery, between 10am and 4pm on Friday, August 27, and Saturday, August 28, where they will be able to stitch their thoughts onto fabric strips, which will be woven onto handmade wooden looms.

Volunteer needlework experts will be on hand to help people create their swatches

Volunteer needlework experts will be on hand to help people create their swatches, and children can write or draw their messages.

Open Door Manager Joan Fisher said: “The last year has been very challenging for so many of us, but the strength of the community spirit that has been exhibited here in Berkhamsted has been a great comfort.

"At Open Door we hope that coming together to create this work of art will offer a way to help people to process their experiences, commemorate loss and look forward to the future with hope and joy.”

The initiative was developed from an original concept by former Open Door artist-in-residence Angela Rossi and has been funded by the National Lottery.

Berkhamsted residents invited to create historic piece of public art

The completed artwork will be on display in the cemetery and will feature in an exhibition at Open Door in January 2022.

Kate Campbell, Rectory Lane Cemetery's community engagement officer, said: "Rectory Lane is such a beautiful and poignant setting, so the perfect surroundings for people to contemplate and record their experiences from this historic period.

"It will be fun and uplifting too, with refreshments and live music, so come along and be a part of Berkhamsted’s local history!”

Open Door Berkhamsted is a community arts space set up to tackle social isolation and inequality. It encourages people to be active, creative and social, whatever their circumstances, through a range of art and wellbeing activities, a donations café, exhibitions and volunteering opportunities.

Can you spare the cost of a cuppa? A small donation will help us support vulnerable people in Berkhamsted. To make a donation click here.

Rectory Lane Cemetery is a three-acre green space rescued from decades of neglect through a transformational community programme delivered by the volunteer Friends of St Peter’s funded by the National Lottery.