Thursday, June 30, 2011

UK AIDS Memorial Quilt

In the run up to the Pride Festival this Saturday (you going??), Pride London has displayed the UK AIDS Memorial Quilt 

in and around Soho.

The AIDS Memorial Quilt was created by US AIDS activist Cleve Jones on 1985, after a remembrance march in honour of San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone, who were assassinated in 1978. Jones asked that people create signs with the names of their loved ones who had lost their lives to Aids and to stick them on the San Francisco Federal Building. All of the signs combined reminded Jones of a patchwork quilt and so an idea was born…

The quilt now weighs around 54 tonnes and is the’largest piece of community art’ in the world. Each panel is 3 foot by 6 foot, the size of an average grave. It is described as a ‘creative means of remembrance, as well as a way to educate people about HIV prevention and fight the stigma of AIDS.’

The UK names Project created its own AIDS Memorial Quilt in the early 90’s, which is made up of 48 panels. Every panel is made and decorated by family and friends of someone who has died with HIV, to commemorate their life.

I really recommend that you take a detour through Soho over the next couple of days, to see some of these panels for yourself (there are 12 in total, click here for location details). They are beautiful in every sense and are a great way of maintaining an important message at the same time as conveying so much love through beautiful art.