Set against the traumatic backdrop of COVID-19 and the resulting need for individuals and communities to support one another through it, the Refugee Buddy Project, Hastings, Rother & Wealden initiated an online version of Stitch for Change, a project that began in late 2019 to bring people together through storytelling and making.
They received 95 patchwork squares from people across the community, including those seeking refuge, volunteers, and Supported Education students from Hastings College. This collaboration tells diverse stories of life under the shadow of COVID-19 through hand-stitched patchwork squares that reveal tales of resistance, change, togetherness, isolation, loss and home.
The patches, once sewn together, form four large quilts: a people’s history of a pandemic that sits within the long tradition of hand-stitching as a method of narrating individual and collective life under oppressive, unsettling circumstances.
All In The Same Storm presents these four quilts alongside their makers’ stories, giving visitors a glimpse of each participant’s very different experience. One patch marks the Black Lives Matter movement, another mourns the loss of college life, one depicts the strict rules of social distancing, another celebrates the role of friendship and community in hard times, and another was made in order to share stories of past generations with young children. Several share messages of solidarity with frontline workers.
Throughout the process, participants were inspired by the Chilean practice of arpillera-making: a pictorial applique technique that involved using rags and scraps of fabric to create images that were then sewn on to large pieces of cloth. Arpilleras were usually made by women to depict daily life during times of social and political hardship, recording their oppression as an act of resistance.
All In The Same Storm will be displayed on the walls of the First floor gallery which will also temporarily host an extension to our Café – a welcoming space where visitors can think and reflect with a drink and something to eat.
This project is organised by The Refugee Buddy Project, Hastings, Rother and Wealden working with Jimena Pardo and Janey Moffatt as Stitch for Change. It includes contributions by Lo Recordings.
Musician Simon James has composed an accompanying sound piece entitled Patchwork which invites visitors to slow down and reflect on the stories held in the quilts, and offers up “some calm in the storm”. You can listen to it here.
Watch a film about the exhibition here:
The Refugee Buddy Project, Hastings, Rother & Wealden was founded in Autumn 2017. Local people are matched with newly arriving refugee families to the Hastings, Bexhill and Wealden areas. The founder, Rossana Leal, has a vision for how this can work to establish a real culture of welcome and hospitality towards our new fellow-citizens from her own experience many years ago. For more information on The Buddy Project click here
An arts centre within a modernist building by the sea, the De La Warr Pavilion harnesses its prosocial, internationalist origins to stimulate exhibitions, performances and learning, and to mobilise current and future generations to take action and re-imagine the world. Over the coming months, DLWP will work in coalition with those in our neighbourhood and beyond to engage with urgent matters concerning race, migration and care. Responding to the impact that COVID-19 has had on communities and individuals, we will provide space for reflection, healing, debate and action.
- By Rail
Direct trains go from London Victoria, Brighton and Ashford to Bexhill.
There are also trains from London Charing Cross, changing at St. Leonards Warrior Square and from London Bridge or Charing Cross going to Battle. Battle is only a short taxi journey away (15 mins approx).
Visit www.nationalrail.co.uk for up-to-date train travel information.
Town Taxis: 01424 211 511
Parkhurst Taxis: 01424 733 456
- By Car
If driving from the London area:
Take the M25, then A21 to Hastings. Turn off at John‘s Cross and follow the signs to Bexhill.
Take the A22 to Eastbourne, go across the Bishop roundabout to the A271 and follow the signs to Bexhill and the seafront. The De La Warr Pavilion is on the Marina.
From the Brighton area:
Follow the A27 out of Brighton until you arrive in Bexhill On Sea.
Please be aware the Rother District car park outside the De La Warr Pavilion operates paid parking until 8pm. After this time parking is free. There is also lmiited free car parking along the seafront.
Within the limits of this Grade One listed building, the De La Warr Pavilion strives to be fully accessible with a range of facilities to support your visit.
Assistance Dogs are permitted into the building.
Please contact the Box Office on 01424 229 111 to arrange a visit.
Facilities for disabled visitors
- Ramped access at the front of the building
- A low counter at the Box Office and Information Desk
- Disabled toilets on two floors
- A lift to all floors
- Accessible galleries on both floors
- An accessible Café
- Spaces for wheelchairs in the auditorium for seated events
- Ramped access in the auditorium for events during the day
- Ramped access into the Studio
- Two travel wheelchairs are available for use at the De La Warr Pavilion. To reserve, please call our box office and information desk on (01424) 229111 or ask a member of staff on arrival. The chairs are provided on a first come, first served basis and are intended for use inside the Pavilion. Please contact us for more information.
Facilities for blind or visually-impaired
- Large print season brochures
Facilities for the hard-of-hearing
- An T-Switch induction loop in some areas of the auditorium (please indicate when booking as this facility is not available on the balcony)
- British Sign Language interpretation tours of the building and exhibitions are available on request.