Berkhamsted Residents to Create Historic Work of Art

Living Magazines Down Rectory Lane

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 27 and Saturday 28 August, 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, 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. The completed artwork will be on display in the cemetery and will feature in an exhibition at Open Door in January 2022.

‘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,’ said Kate Campbell, Rectory Lane Cemetery’s Community Engagement Officer. ‘It will be fun and uplifting too, with refreshments and live music, so come along and be a part of Berkhamsted’s local history!’

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