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National Wool Museum’s Exhibition of Hope… Exhibition Launch Date! 

We are very pleased to announce the Exhibition of Hope will open to the public at the National Wool Museum on the 2nd of October 2021 and will be on display until mid-January 2022. The opening will form part of the Museum Wales digital Celebration of Wool Event taking place between the 2nd and 3rd of October. Click here for more details about the event. Celebration of Wool | National Museum Wales 

The Exhibition will also be displayed at the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea between July 2022 and October 2022. 

Thank you to all those who contributed to the creation of rainbow coloured squares. Contributions for the Exhibition of Hope closed at the end of March 2021. Since the initial call out for squares in April 2020 at the beginning of the nation’s Covid-19 lockdown, we have received nearly 2000 squares! Participants used any materials which were readily available to them at the time such as wool or acrylics to create their squares. From knitted squares to crocheted squares, the response has been fantastic!  

Crisis charity (South Wales), which supports homeless people, shared the Exhibition of Hope information on their Facebook pages and created physical packs including wool and instructions to send to services users to support them to take part. The Exhibition of Hope was featured in Adult Learners’ Week 2020 and two videos were released of National Wool Museum Craftsperson Non Mitchell giving a demonstration on how to create a felted and woven square. A collage of photographs documenting the Exhibition was submitted as part of the Connect to Kindness Art Project, a project which is run in partnership with the Connect to Kindness Campaign and Carmarthenshire Association of Voluntary Services, which aims to capture community kindness and support during the pandemic.  

Nothing about this past year has been predictable and we have all had to adapt to huge changes. While we had originally planned to create one giant rainbow blanket from the squares, we have, on reflection, decided to create a number of smaller blankets instead. This is because we have received such an amazing number of squares and due to Covid-19 restrictions volunteers were unable to meet at the Wool Museum. National Wool Museum Volunteers and Museum Wales staff have therefore been joining the squares from home, creating wonderful unique blankets.   Following the Exhibition, we still plan on donating the blankets to charities to be used as they wish, whether that be for example, as blankets or as pieces of artwork. More blankets mean more flexibility for display, and we are working on some exciting display plans! 

Whilst our wonderful volunteers and staff have been busy creating the blankets, we have also been working on another aspect of the project. Over the past year we have received so many varied and beautiful squares from people up and down the country and it has been lovely to hear from many who have found that creating the squares has helped during the unprecedented and challenging times. We have therefore decided to capture some contributors’ experiences of taking part in the project. ‘Stories behind the Squares’ will be a brief interpretation video within the Exhibition and available online, documenting the thoughts and feelings of those taking part in the Exhibition. 

We are thankful to Ysgol Penboyr, the local school in the village of Dre-fach Felindre, where the National Wool Museum is located who have created a beautiful rainbow handprint artwork which will be displayed in the Exhibition too. 

Rainbows are often used as a symbol of peace and hope and as we know, they often appear when the sun shines following heavy rainfall. They serve to remind us that following dark times, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. The Exhibition aims to reflect spirit, hope and community during these challenging times. It is designed to be an immersive experience, a symbolic hug of kindness of the love that has been placed into every stitch and is created as a tangible embodiment of hope. 

As part of the Exhibition, there will be an online page on the Museum Wales website. The page will include, amongst other things, the Exhibition of Hope ‘Stories behind the Squares’ video and an Exhibition set up time-lapse video as well as a brief walk ‘round of the exhibition itself. 

We look forward to welcoming you to the Exhibition very soon. In the meantime, here is a brief video about the Exhibition of Hope, documenting some of the photographs that have been taken since the Exhibition was launched. 

Keep an eye out on our social media pages to find out the latest information. 

Thank you to The Ashley Family Foundation and Community Foundation Wales for their support with this project. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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