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Exhibition: The National Wool Museum’s Exhibition of Hope

National Wool Museum
2 October 2021 – 15 January 2022
Cost Free
Suitability All
Booking Booking a general admission National Wool Museum ticket is essential to view the exhibition.
The National Wool Museum’s Exhibition of Hope

Lockdown, April 2020: we wanted to mark the hope shown by our key workers, throughout this dark time.

We began with the rainbow, the symbol adopted in celebration of these heroes. So, we invited people to join us, knitting, felting or crocheting 20cm/8" coloured squares to make a celebratory rainbow blanket.

Word got out. People in every corner of Wales joined us and…boom! One year on, we had over 2,000 beautiful squares in every conceivable colour and not just wool, but cotton, silk and other wonderful fibres, too. Whatever was to hand.

What began as one blanket became many, many more, each representing the rainbow, the symbol of peace, hope and light that follows darkness.

This exhibition features the work of everyone involved, volunteers and members of our Amgueddfa Cymru team, too, who all knitted and stitched to bring us this warm hug in woolly form — an expression of the love that’s gone into every inch of each blanket.

After our exhibition, the blankets will make their way to charities around Wales to brighten things up for many other people, too.

Please take a look at some of the videos below:

 

Exhibition of Hope: Stories of the Squares

 

Arddangosfa Gobaith I Exhibition of Hope

 

Sincere thanks to:

  • Every person who joined us and lovingly knitted, crocheted and stitched blanket squares.
  • Penboyr School in Dre-Fach Felindre who created the beautiful rainbow artwork that accompanies the exhibition.
  • Thank you to The Ashley Family Foundation and Community Foundation Wales for their support with this project.

 

Exhibition of Hope

As we once lived through darker times

Colours lifted hearts and minds.

Violet, indigo, green and blue;

Red and orange, yellow too.

 

A vivid arch of seven strands

Gave hope and thanks across the land.

Hung in windows and on doors;

Painted walls and pavement floors.

 

A symbol for those doing deeds

That helped all those who were in need.

Carrying out essential tasks

In gloves and visors, gowns and masks.

 

This patchwork quilt that many made

Serves to remind, as memories fade:

That after every horrid storm,

Hopeful rainbows always form.

 

Stephen Williams, Museum Assistant, National Wool Museum.

 

Arddangosfa Gobaith

Yn gyson, drwy’r amseroedd du,

 Lliwiau wnaeth ein codi.

Enfys o arlliwiau lu –

Yn fwa yn ein clymu.

 

Cymuned yn un mewn gwaith

Yn rhoi gobaith drwy glytwaith

Blancedi’n lliwiau hardd di-ri –

Pob sgwâr yn adrodd stori.

 

Dal i droi mae olwyn bywyd

A chymuned yn galon ein byd.

Unwn i gofio, diolch ac erfyn

 Y daw na eto haul ar fryn.

Anon.

 

Read more about the Exhibition of Hope on our blog page:

 

More stories of the squares:

Marie: 

I took part in the knitting because I felt that the lovely colours of a rainbow would cheer up people during this horrendous pandemic and beyond.

It helped me to use the acrylic yarn which I had bought for my friend living in the Seychelles (I couldn't go there because of the pandemic) to put the yarn to a very good project.

I may now be able to travel abroad next year instead. 

Marie
Marie

 

Aeres:

Knitting the squares for the rainbow blanket helped me a lot during lockdown and it gave me a sense of belonging and achievement, knowing I was involved with something important and helping those in need.

I enjoyed knitting the squares so much, I went onto knit a second lot, approximately 130 squares in total.

I have since moved onto knitting Twiddle Muffs for Dementia - so definitely got the knitting bug - that I can say has stemmed from working on the rainbow 🌈 blanket. 

Looking forward to visiting the museum and seeing the finished piece in the 'Arddangosfa Gobaith'. 

Aeres Ingram
Aeres Ingram

 

Ruth: 

I took up crochet just before lockdown and it really helped me stay focused on studying for my MBA as it was an outlet, I could do on my own that was calming.

I wanted to focus on a project to show how much crochet has helped me stay centered during lockdown.

I also worked at the National Waterfront Museum and wanted to test myself and see if I could create a completely original pattern which is something I hadn’t done before taking part in this exhibition. 

Fibre art is so calming and can help so many people and I wanted to join the collection of crafters in creating this exhibition. And I am so excited to see the finished product. 

Ruth Melton
Ruth Melton
Ruth
Ruth

 

Diana:

I was born just after the Second World War as my Father had been sent abroad for the duration of the War. I had the usual childhood illnesses but I do remember as a child having Asian Flu and my Mother, Father and myself were really ill but we came through it. 

The virus which is circulating at the moment is the worst in my memory as not only does it cause severe illness and often death it has also caused mental problems with isolation and deprivation of contact with family and friends. 

Thank goodness for our wonderful Health Service and for the contact that can come from telephone calls and modern technology. 

I have been keeping busy helping to knit and sew together some of the rainbow squares, made by the volunteers of the Wool Museum into blankets for the Exhibition of Hope, which I believe will take place later his year  

Let us all look forward to the day when this horrible virus can be eradicated, we can return to some sort of “normal” and meet up with all our family and friends again. 

Diana
Diana

Hope to see you all soon, 

Diana.

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