Remember Me - Michele Walker

Remember Me, Michele Walker, 1999. Image © Heini Schneebeli

Object Details

Date of making
1999
Date of acquisition
1999
Technique/Process
Textiles: machine-stitching, hand-stitching, quilting
Materials
Plastic, steel wool, wadding, cotton
Dimensions
L2010mm x W860mm
Collection Number
T157

Maker Details

Birthplace
Hampshire, England
Place Trained
Goldsmiths College, London, Post-graduate Textiles, 1991-1992; London College of Printing, London, Post-graduate Typographic Design, 1973-1974; Canterbury College of Art, Kent, BA Graphic Design, 1966-1969
Studio
26 Buckingham Road, Brighton, BN1 3RP, England

About

“Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land.”
From “Remember” by Christina Rossetti (1830–94)

Michelle Walker’s subversive quilts resonate socio-political messages, from the exploitation of the environment, battery farming and the fast-food industry to homelessness. She uses harsh modern materials including black bin liners, frozen-food packaging and wire wool to challenge the perception of the quilt as a soft, cosy bed covering.

Remember Me bridges past and present, referring to a 19th-century American Widow’s Quilt, with repeated ‘darts of death’ motifs, and to the modern tradition of wearing small folded ribbons signifying remembrance.

Read more about related loans and exhibitions

Professor Polly Binns
says...

“As a member of the Purchasing Committee, I remember a charged emotional debate about this object and its strong message. Remember Me confronts and disturbs. It challenges preconceptions of how we relate to textiles, those intimate relationships of body and environment. From a distance we perceive it as a quilt or comforter, suggesting woman as home maker. There are eight repeated motifs of the Breast Cancer Campaign’s folded ribbon in black and grey. On close scrutiny it almost repels, being constructed of black plastic bags and steel wool, neither materials of status nor the sentimental gathering of fabric ripe with memories but anonymous stuff of no value or permanence. A narrow, single bed cover? Very lonely. Cloth here creates powerful art.”

Professor Polly Binns

Professor Polly Binns, textile artist and educator. Member of 62 group. Crafts Council Acquisitions Advisor from 1999-2001

From the Archive

Letter: Crafts Council Curator Amanda Fielding to Michele Walker, 1999

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