Sustainable Merton, Merton’s local environmental charity, has come together with the Loving Earth Project to invite Merton residents to create a permanent and creative record of their experiences and thoughts during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The ‘Loving Earth: A Legacy of Lockdown’ project is aimed at supporting people with their wellbeing during these challenging times.
The project asks people of all abilities to create a textile panel that captures their feelings towards the environment, with a vision for a better, more sustainable future. Each panel will be accompanied by the personal story behind it and there will be a local exhibition of the panels in late Spring 2021.
Following a pilot project last autumn, a number of residents have said how beneficial this project has been for their personal wellbeing.
One participant said: “I was very glad to be part of the Loving Earth Project. I am a great believer in the power of images, and anyone can take part regardless of textile, stitching or any form of art expertise. It provides individuals, who may feel powerless to make a difference on their own, with a ‘voice’ and these voices when gathered together create a powerful, collective chorus to raise concern for our planet.”
Diana Sterck, CEO of Sustainable Merton commented: “We wanted to create a new project for the Merton community that supports people of all ages, but particularly those that are by themselves, or can’t get out as much as they would normally, and to provide them with an opportunity to share their reflections.”
Linda Murgatroyd, Founder of the Loving Earth Project added: “The Covid-19 lockdowns have caused us to change many habits and to reflect on what really matters in life. I hope this project will help people engage creatively with the environmental crisis as well as the immediate challenges of the pandemic. Instead of carrying on with “business as usual” and worrying about it, we can all help care for the future of what we love – here in Merton and elsewhere. It’s a fun project to work on and exciting to see the different ideas people are bringing to the project.”
Below is a panel created by local resident Shirley Ford, alongside its story. We hope this inspires you to get involved.
Panel Title: ‘Back to the Garden’
Created by: Shirley Ford, Merton resident
“When I saw the invitation to join the ‘Loving Earth: A Legacy of Lockdown’ project from Sustainable Merton back in October, it immediately appealed to me as I had been wanting to start a sewing project but couldn’t motivate myself. This community project was perfect for me and straight away I could envisage what mine would look like.
Through lockdown I had taken every opportunity, once we could, to meet family and friends…. at the Wimbledon Windmill, Cannizaro Park, Cannon Hill Common and Morden Park. These times through the summer and autumn were very precious so my sewing has reflected my love of being together in these places…. the River Wandle, the Rose Garden at Morden Hall Park, bright fields of grass, the beautiful trees and the chance to pick blackberries.
I had a bag full of saved bits of material and an old piece of cross stitch material which was just right for this project. There was already a cross-stitched butterfly that dated back to the 90s, so I kept that and created my picture around it (the parrot will appear in my next Loving Earth creation). I never once felt it a chore to make this textile panel and it has given me a feeling of calm and most importantly linking with others in the community with our Zoom chats. Also through our conversations, I am thinking more about ways for us all to get back to the garden.”
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