Jennifer Kirker stitched a lockdown memoir of life under Covid-19.
The fruits of lockdown labour will be on display this month, when Warkworth Embroiderers hold their biennial exhibition of work at the town’s Masonic Lodge, off the Baxter Street carpark.
The group of around 25 sewers will be displaying all-new pieces made in the past two years, many of which were conceived and created when Covid-19 struck last year. The coronavirus concentrated the minds of several members, giving pause for thought as well as extra time for stitching during the long weeks of lockdown.
Group president Jennifer Kirker was one of them, producing a touching piece that will serve as a permanent reminder of what life was like when the global pandemic first came calling.
“I lost my husband 18 months ago and I thought ‘well, I’m going to be on my own through lockdown, what am I going to do?’, so I bought some fabric and stitched every day,” she said. “I didn’t really plan anything, it was just whatever came into my mind.”
The resulting large square embroidery includes graphs, milestones and thanks to Jacinda Ardern and Ashley Bloomfield, as well as more conventional flowers, motifs and patterns.
Another exhibit in the new exhibition has gone small-scale – Julie Swift’s Little People features 40 tiny squares, each filled with a painstakingly minute person or flower.
Jennifer hopes that some members can be persuaded to work on unfinished pieces during the exhibition, as a talking point and to encourage anyone with an itch to stitch to join the group.
Warkworth Embroiders also has a display in the Paper Plus window throughout this month, showing older works from previous exhibitions. The group meets twice a month and welcomes new members for any kind of embroidery.
The Eye of the Needle exhibition will be open from 10am to 4pm on Friday and Saturday, July 30 and 31, at the new Masonic Lodge, above the New World car park, Baxter Street (not the old Masonic Hall next to the library). Entry by gold coin.