Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Counterpane for Rememberance

There is a beautiful quilt, the work of 60 employees of the Stratford Festival wardrobe department , that hangs in the upper lobby of the Avon Theatre.  I saw it last year and remarked on the workmanship that went into it - not something really surprising given who had created it.  For some reason this year it was partially hidden behind a podium that had served for some presentation earlier in the day.  I am honestly surprised that the house manager would allow this to happen but .....

The quilt was created in memory of Renato La Selva a master tailor who worked at Stratford for many years.  Each year a Gutherie Award, named after the great Irish director, is given to someone in the wardrobe department in memory of their colleague Renato.  The quilt honours both him and the recipients of the award.

The volunteers who created it choose both the Shakespearean subject and the medium that they would use in their panel.  Some choose plays, others logos or simply things that said to them:  this is Stratford.   Some choose embroidery others appliqué, silk screening, leather work or simple quilting techniques.  Six designers closely identified with the Festival - Susan Benson, Debra Hanson, Desmond Heeley, John Pennoyer, Christina Poddubiuk and Ann Curtis -  had costume sketches or block designs incorporated into the quilt.  The four corner blocks represent flowers from the gardens surrounding the Festival Theatre and the border features drifts of swans reflected in the waters of the Avon River.

I was able to get shots of many of the 39 blocks that make up this remarkable tribute to a respected friend and colleague.  Unfortunately others - particularly those higher up on the quilt - were out of proper range for my little camera.  However I've included close-ups of as many as I can.

A left click on any of the hot-spots on the picture will enlarge a goodly number of the blocks, as will a left click on any of the titles shown below the photo.

I haven't been able to find out when the Quilt was made but the small card beside it in the lobby mentions the names of Laurie Krempien-Hall and Joanne Zegers, both long-time artisans in the wardrobe department,  as the two people who led the project. They and all the others involved can be proud of a remarkable piece of work and a loving tribute to a colleague.

September 30 - 1938: The League of Nations unanimously outlaws "intentional bombings of civilian populations".


Debra She Who Seeks said...

This is lovely! You know, the Avon Theatre is the one venue I haven't been to yet, so did not see this in person. I love, love, love that swan border.

Ur-spo said...

I remember this!
I wasn't aware of the story behind it though ,