Quilt of Remembrance

30th April 2014

WAVE participants produced a “Quilt of Remembrance”: It tells a special story, starting in the 1960s, displaying significant events during the ‘Troubles’ and closing with the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement in 1998.

Although many viewers will recognise events and might identify with certain situations, this is a very personal quilt. The participants put their heart and soul into the making of this quilt.

There were many tears, but also much laughter and the recognition that suffering takes place independent of religion or cultural background.

Over a period of four years, the quilt became alive, and the emotional support within the group was mighty.

The wounds of psychological trauma can be seen all over the world. In Peru, India, Zimbabwe, Northern Ireland and many other places, groups create quilts to tell their story of hardship and to bear witness to situations that should be remembered.

This quilt tells the story of individuals who suffered because of the conflict on this island, but who also gained strengths by sharing their experiences with each other, and through the medium of the quilt with all of us. It is a powerful testimony for peace.

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This remarkable quilt would not have happened without the skills and dedication of facilitator Rosemarie McGrath, who guided the group, provided the vision and contributed significantly to the project. WAVE Outreach Worker Velma Irvine supported the group throughout the process, sharing the ups and downs and making sure everybody felt safe and encouraged.

Many individuals and staff members helped and contributed along the way, therefore this quilt also represents the wider support within WAVE Trauma Centre and beyond. However, it was the participants who had the perseverance and the courage to open their hearts and to create this striking quilt, displaying their individual experiences, an important part of history and an amazing piece of textile art.

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Although packed with difficult and complex memories, the quilt created by a cross-community group of WAVE participants also tells the story of hope for a better future, based on mutual understanding and respect. Viewers are encouraged to reflect on the past and to move into a brighter future.

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