Good Lament and Hard Hope - A Community Art Project

A community art project exploring the pandemic.

A community art project, a collaboration between Chelmsford Cathedral and a group of textile artists, The Material Girls, was on display at Chelmsford Cathedral during the summer.

Canon Imogen Nay said: ‘The aim of this art project was to enable people to express their grief and their hope through the making, sending and displaying of fabric postcards. We invited people to express their feelings through art and to reflect on their experiences during this ongoing pandemic’.

Chris Spenser, Material Girl said: ‘When the Material Girls were approached about helping to create a community art project to commemorate the effects of the Covid crisis, we believed it would be an excellent outlet for people’s feelings during these stressful times.  Many people have turned to creativity during the lockdowns and we felt that making fabric postcards was an accessible way for people of all ages and skills to get involved to document their experiences and try to come to terms with all they had been through.’

Textile groups and community groups, members of churches from across the diocese of Chelmsford, and further afield, were invited to send in fabric postcards that helped them to tell their stories of the pandemic. They were also asked to consider the environment and use recycled materials. Some postcards even came from the Articulation Textile Group, Canada.

Over 100 postcards were received in total and they all tell a different but shared story: stories of encountering nature in a new way; of daily walks; of the pain of being alone; of monotony; of learning new things (like zoom); of having time to think; of loss and of hope. The postcards have provided a means for communication at a time when we have been cut off from so many of our normal networks and communities. Visitors to the exhibition awere able to make a postcard when they visited and post them in the postboxes.

Canon Imogen Nay

The Material Girls

About Good Lament and Hard Hope

This community art project was designed to explore the challenges of the pandemic and wanted to help enable people to express their grief and hope through hand-made fabric postcards.

Postcards have been sent in from across the Chelmsford Diocese as well as from London, Rugby, Portsmouth and Sussex. We have also been delighted to receive some postcards from Canada, from the Articulation Textile Group who have a link with The Material Girls. 

The postcards form a unique, interactive art installation at Chelmsford Cathedral throughout the summer.