Elizabeth Shelbourne

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Quilt to commemorate 30 years of World Aids Day

On the 1st of December 2018 at St George’s Hall a newly commissioned quilt panel was on display along with other quilt panels from the UK AIDs memorial quilt project. The panel was created by Liz Shelbourne a member of MEG and was produced to commemorate those who had passed away to this terrible virus and to celebrate how far things have come on in the last 30 years.

The panel was commissioned for Homotophia, Liverpool’s LGBT Arts festival and for Sahir House to acknowledge 30 years of Worlds Aids Day and is to be part of the Aids’ quilt archives. The Aids quilt panels are a piece of social history and tell the stories of the many who lost their lives in the early days of the HIV and Aids epidemic of the 80s and 90s. Each panel represents someone who died of Aids and was lovingly made by friends, lovers or family.

The quilt produced by Liz has a rainbow road across the centre with the words thirty year of positive change appliquéd over it. The rainbow signifies a sense of optimism and is a path that leads you directly to a red ribbon which is the World Aids symbol, this is worn for remembrance on the 1st of December.

A Liver bird places the quilt in the context of the Liverpool area, within the bird’s wings are embroidered the local regions supported by Sahir house. The Liver bird is placed onto a tie dyed background which is overlaid with voile and has been embroidered with ghostly reminders of the virus cells.

The hearts on the quilt left, make direct reference to past campaigns related to HIV and Aids and to the love and support for those who continue to need it.

On the lower section of the quilt are appliquéd silhouetted figures, which are symbolic of people going about their lives, these are embroidered with short written extracted by people who have been effected directly by the virus.

“U=U” printed on the right hand side stands for Undetectable = Untransmittable, which is the situation today, as drugs can now be used to control the virus. This has been machine embroidered with the shapes of the pills that now control the virus and allow people to live normal long and healthy lives.

Producing the quilt was a real challenge, with a very short deadline of just under a month and design restraints. Since producing the quilt Liz Shelbourne has relocated her studio and can now be found in The John Archer Hall in Toxteth.


Protective Routes Exhibition

The Coach House, Calderstones Park, Liverpool

November 13th– 19th 2017

by Liz Shelbourne and Jennie Wishart

The title Protective Routes was coined by our sister Christine for the Derbyshire Open studio which we took part in May of this year.  We felt the title was particularly pertinent as exhibiting as sisters it provided us with the confidence and protection of family to put on the show. We also felt the word routes could also be spelt roots and again link to family and our joint and individual journeys.

We thought one of the main challenges would to how best to present the work to create an exhibition that held together well. This however proved to be surprisingly easy. Although our work was quite different, with Jennie exhibiting paintings with strong narratives and myself  work in textiles, that responded to the environment and the world around me. The work enhanced and complemented each other, with the unifying factor being our strong sense of colour.

As I had recently taken early retirement from teaching, my body of work had been developed over a long period of time and the techniques and methods  are often experimental and fed into my teaching. The exhibition meant that many half finished projects were completed with the large batik quilting being a brand new piece. My membership in the guild has inspired many of the techniques used, as I combine contemporary methods with traditional forms of stitch.  I am excited about the future as I now have the space and time to develop my art.

The exhibition was well attended by friends, family and members of the public including many cultured dogs. The feedback we received was encouraging and much of our work has found new homes.

Liz Shelbourne