Berkhamsted residents of all ages took part in the creation of a historic work of art this weekend (August 28/29) in an event set up by community arts organisation, Open Door, and Berkhamsted’s Rectory Lane Cemetery.
The event, down Rectory Lane, was created to mark the beginning of the town’s emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic and saw local residents come together to capture their feelings of loss, and their hopes for the future.
Members of the public were invited to embroider words and phrases onto fabric swatches, to be woven into two handmade wooden looms. A team of Open Door volunteers were on hand to help people sew their messages, and children could also write or draw their thoughts to be included.
Open Door manager Joan Fisher said: “It’s been an incredibly special couple of days and we were bowled over by the enthusiasm of local people to take part, and the range of heartfelt messages that they have created.
“There were many poignant moments as people came together and chatted over their sewing, but also lots of big smiles and laughter, fun and even some dancing!”
Live music provided inspiration and entertainment to the participants, from local musicians Don Perera, Hamish Currie and the Blue in Green jazz quartet.
There was also storytelling and a big selection of Open Door’s renowned cakes and other delicious refreshments on offer.
“The peaceful green space of the cemetery made the perfect backdrop for this wonderful event, which we hope has given people a chance to reflect and celebrate after the challenging times we have been experiencing,” said Kate Campbell, Rectory Lane Cemetery’s community engagement officer.
The collaboration was funded by the National Lottery and the completed artwork will feature in an exhibition at Open Door in January 2022.
Visit opendoorberkhamsted.co.uk/downrectorylane for more information.