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Cover Up Quilts Exhibition

By March 1, 2023 November 24th, 2023 No Comments

BCU Cover-Up Quilts ExhibitionAs part of the Birmingham AIDS & HIV Memorial project, Saving Lives has been supported local artists, schools and craft groups to produce a range of quilts that chart the history of HIV in Birmingham and more widely. This Arts Council England-funded project has created a beautiful document of how HIV has been understood in the past, and how it is understood today – as well as creating new community links which would otherwise not have existed. Led by BAHM’s lead designer Garry Jones, “Cover Up” has not just been a huge success – it’s made a difference in people’s lives, and created a lasting material legacy.

That legacy has been on full show recently at Birmingham City University, where each of the Cover Up quilts has been hung in the campus’s main atrium. Such a public view for these beautiful works has really shone a light on their quality – and on how eloquently many of them express aspects of the history of HIV.

From marking the end of Section 28 to the first availability of ARV medicines, to greeting 2022’s Fast Track Cities initiative with a cheery “alright, Bab!” and paying tribute to the pioneering awareness-raising of Princess Diana, the quilts capture such a range of experience and knowledge of HIV that they are themselves something of a historical document!

More exhibitions of the quilts are forthcoming later in the year. Keep your eyes peeled.

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