Guest blog – Rikke Digerud

As part of the Leicestershire County Council funded Innovation Challenge phase one funding, managed overall by Community Catalysts, I had the pleasure of working with artist Rikke Digerud.

Rikke took over as the artist on a reminiscence quilt project for older residents developed by North West Leicestershire Council. The project was tight, with a lot to do and Rikke rose to the challenge amazingly. Taking some feedback from participants at the celebratory event at Snibston showed just how much people had enjoyed working with Rikke.

Here’s her story:

The Art of Reminiscing project.

I have been working with residents in 9 different sheltered housing complexes in the North West Leicestershire area for the last 5 months, creating a large patchwork memory quilt. The residents at at each centre chose a colour for their textile squares and we set about sewing them together. The blank pieces of calico in between had old photos from their area transferred on to them as to tell a story/history of that particular area.
As the artist on the scheme I took all the 9 finished quilt pieces home and sewed them all together and put a plain calico backing on it. The sheer size of the quilt (3.2m long and 4m wide!) made this quite challenging but the more satisfying when it was finished! It is a formidable piece of art work.
On the 5th December 2012 we had the grand opening of the piece at Snibston Discovery Park, Coalville. The residents, who of course were the makers of the quilt, were invited to lunch and the event was attended by the Chairman of North West Leicestershire and other dignitaries and I think they felt part of something out of the ordinary, something creative and important. It has been a real pleasure for me to work with such lovely older persons and taken part in the reminscing about their past.

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