Same Sea, Different Boat is a patchwork quilt that brings together responses to the pandemic, in print, stitch and drawing. It is a collaborative project between Sue Brown at theyard:Artspace, Liske Johnson at Littleheath Barn Studio and Lousie Asher from Hope & Elvis, here in The Harley Studios.

At the beginning of the lockdown I had a creative rush, setting up weekly creative prompts for my students. New work was made and new techniques were tried. So many people told me how lucky I was to be an artist and now have the time to explore my creativity. But a few weeks went by, there seemed no end to the rise in the death rate and the novelty of the situation began to tarnish. The creative rush began to ebb away and emotional anxiety began to creep in.

By the middle of May I sensed that the enthusiasm of the students who had join the various support groups I had created, had waned. The comments on my Instagram page about my weekly art prompts, were grateful, but creative energy had started to leave everyone. My emotional energy was also at a low point. For some of us the creative umph had left and guilt about just reading and eating our body weight in home-made baking was beginning to feel all wrong. And yes, I had cleaned behind my fridge, what was left…?

So I decided to bother a couple of fellow creatives and workshop providers, Louise Asher at Hope & Elvis, Nottingham and Liske Johnson at Littleheath Barn Studios, Bromsgrove to help me get the creativity of people we were in contact with moving again.
Sue Brown, Printmaker, theyard:Artspace

‘It’s like a modern Bayeux Tapestry’ (Instagram)

The project invited participants to contribute a small design, measuring just 10x10cm, describing their experience of lockdown. The designs were submitted as collagraph plates (to be printed on fabric), drawings, or stitched textile squares. They would then be sewn together into a community patchwork quilt.

Same Sae, Different Boat attracted interest from across the world, and over 400 squares were submitted. When the beautiful and intricate squares were sewn together, it resulted in a large-scale installation spanning 5 textile panels. These quilts tell the story of the pandemic through individual responses and shared experiences. Same Sea, Different Boat is a celebration of creativity in a time of unprecedented crisis.

Please note, this exhibition may open slightly later on Tuesday 3rd August as we are updating our displays. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Same Sea, Different Boat // Online talk

Click here to watch the recording of our online talk with the artists behind the project; Louise Asher (Hope & Elvis) and textile artist, Liske Johnson (Littleheath Barn Studio).