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The Forgotten

By  Chris Wright 2022
The Forgotten was recently exhibited at Platform Athens as part of Alison Whitmore’s Jaw_artist_Led The Power of Ten show. I wanted this work to be representative of its time through its thriftiness and, therefore, its sustainability in these times of economic hardships and environmental awareness. I wanted to draw attention to problems whose root cause was often created by the West and so-called first world. But, overwhelmingly, I wanted to bring to the forefront, the impact of war on women who often have no say. Customarily made by women, a quilt signifies warmth, comfort and security. Here I have drawn on a mixture of traditional techniques such as patchwork, quilting and appliqué rather than a single, conventional method. Both machine and hand stitching were used. Using a six-sided ‘flower’ design with a hexagonal centre, each segment represents the colours of a country in conflict with several pure white segments. These uncoloured pieces could be seen to stand in for my hopes and dreams for peace and are placed high up on the quilt whilst the other pieces tumble down to the bottom. However, they could also be viewed as wars yet to happen. No priority is given to any conflict represented by the colour segment by its position on the quilt. The arrangement is random. The jagged edge suggests the unending nature of many disputes and the constant flare-ups between countries. As an example, only this morning, September 13th, 2022, there were reports of cross-border shooting between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The fabric was collected from charity shops. A best shirt - for a wedding? A sixties short red raincoat, gold from a theatre costume. Drawing strangers together through their cast-off clothes gathers more than just the immediate present. It is a social and cultural history. Clothing from its natural and man-made materials to the garment making itself through to its eventual end of life is a worldwide activity that is often related to women.

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