Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Making it Personal

I posted from the Neighbourhood House office yesterday. It was a bit of an occasion--in a busy, friendly kind of way. Let's just say there were half a dozen staff and volunteers working at half a dozen different tasks in a space the size of a lounge room. Despite that, I had several people willing to check over and cheer the "first post" of the Quilters at Sussex Blog.

Of course there were memories shared about the "Carers". I learned that the wall hangings include photos of carers' families from our community. I'll be looking for more information about that soon. Meanwhile, I'll invite you to have another look at the first photo in yesterday's post. You can see the Sussex Quilt hanging on the wall further up the hallway. That was made as a Neighbourhood House Week project a few years ago and includes a block contributed by each group and class from Sussex. More details later.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Coburg Saints

Meet the Coburg Saints, No, not a local football team! These are better known as the Carers Project Wall Hangings:

I asked Sue, the Neighbourhood House manager, to give us some history, since these are the first examples of what might be call "Quilters" at Sussex.

"These two wall hangings were part of a larger installation which Sussex Craft people created under the leadership of Textile Artist Anne Marie Power. The whole installation was in the People’s Gallery at the NGV in St Kilda Rd, Melbourne for about a fortnight and got lots of press. It was part of the Coburg Council (now Moreland City Council) Coburg Carers Project which aimed to raise the profile of carers in the community at a time when the word was largely not known and public support was relatively low.

People were very excited about finding ways with textiles to express the natures of their roles and their feelings about it. It also set Sussex Neighbourhood House on a path of being very aware of the needs of carers and people with disabilities. Having hung in the house for almost 16 and a half years they are a constant reminder of what carers do and that the community appreciates their contribution.

The two hangings were rebacked in 2007 to freshen them up as they are still valued in this place. "

Sue was part time Coordinator at Sussex and part time project worker for the Council’s Carers Project in 1992 when the "Saints" were made.