The Global COVID-19 Quilt Project

Webinar

The @covid19quilt project is a global virtual quilt instigated by artists, activists, and academics Kate Just and Tal Fitzpatrick.

The @covid19quilt is an Instagram account that invites people from around the world to digitally submit a textile square and a small written text that addresses experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Launched in April 2020, The COVID-19 Quilt continues to grow and narrate COVID-19’s impact on our social, environmental, economic, personal and medical landscape.

In this webinar, Kate and Tal share their experience as craftivists, ‘a way of looking at life where voicing opinions through creativity makes one’s voice stronger, compassion deeper & quest for justice more infinite (Greer, 2007).’ They situate their @covid19quilt project in the broader field of craftivist projects and global quilt projects including the AIDs monument and the Monument quilt, and reflect on the ways community craft projects can act as a powerful testament of our times.

This webinar is part of a series run by MSSI's Environmental Arts & Humanities Network.

Speakers

Kate Just migrated from the US to Melbourne in 1994, and is currently the Head of the Master of Contemporary Art Program at the Victorian College of the Arts. Just works across sculpture, installation, neon, textiles and photography to produce contemporary art works with feminist themes, but is best known for her inventive and political use of knitting. In addition to her solo practice, Just often works socially and collaboratively within communities to create large scale, public art projects that tackle significant social issues including sexual harassment and violence against women. Just has exhibited her artwork extensively across Australia in over one hundred group and solo exhibitions. Just has been the recipient of over forty grants, prizes, fellowships, awards and residencies.

Tal Fitzpatrick is an artist, craftivist, researcher, arts and disability worker based in Melbourne, Australia. Driven by the power of craft to solicit the sharing of stories, her socially-engaged arts practice looks to drive positive change by engaging diverse groups of people in complex conversations. Her work has been exhibited across Australia and in the United States, including at the Cindy Rucker Gallery in New York and at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, Canberra.

Respondent

Dr Ruth DeSouza is a highly experienced multidisciplinary educator, researcher and consultant, specialising in cross cultural engagement, cultural safety, and the interface of digital technologies within CALD communities. Ruth is a 2020 RMIT Vice Chancellor's Fellow, based in the School of Art and a member of the Design and Creative Practice Enabling Capability Platform (ECP). Her fellowship project aims to engage health professionals in finding new ways to understand, co-design and implement sustainable cultural safety initiatives in a range of health contexts.

Image credit: @covid19quilt/Instagram. Multiple makers.