10 April 2014

Project Hope and Survival - Laurie Swim, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

I am happy to announce that I have received a Creation Grant from Arts Nova Scotia to start Hope and Survival, The Halifax Explosion, 1917, my community art project for the next three years. The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax has agreed to be my partner for the project. They will help me with research material, set up a social media component and circulate the banner portion throughout the provincial museums.  The museum will also exhibit the work when it is finished as part of the 2017 anniversary of the explosion. 

This past week, Ralph Getson, the curator of education at the Fisheries Museum agreed to let me start the banner here this summer in Lunenburg. This will allow me to keep a close eye on the initial stage. It is to be collaboratively stitched by the public with the names of the victims with Braille in beads.There will be a log kept of who puts in the knots and folks will be encouraged to send me accounts of their connection to the explosion if they have any. If anyone reading this have stories, please send them along. It is my inspiration. Ralph also gave me the name of a university pal Robert Ganong at the Halifax CNIB office and we had a successful meeting with him and a colleague to discuss how to translate nearly 1600 names into dots. Turns out is as easy as turning on the computer. Also, they were excited about the prospect of participating in the project, to what extent is to be determined. Bit by bit, it all comes together

Besides the banner, I will be working on panels that will become a major part of the work. I haven't decided how many yet. Atlantic Fabrics is a contributor to the project. Cathy Dean, the owner generously gave me a break on the purchase of The Sweet Sixteen Handi Quilter, the sit down long arm you can see on the back cover of the latest SAQA Journal. This is a big step up as it allows me to see the work on a flat surface as I work on it. She also has given me a much appreciated break on materials. Every little bit helps.

You shall hear more as the project progresses.

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