Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (M.A.D.E) , Ballarat
80 hand and machine stitched square calico panels individually embellished with text and motifs using red thread, applique techniques, cross stitching, embroidery and application of readymade objects such as buttons, cord, zippers. The squares are hand stitched together and machine stitched to a calico backing with synthetic wading in between the surface layers. Rod pockets along the top and bottom margins allow for the insertion of curtain rods or dowel to display the quilt and provide weight at the bottom for stability.
The Quilt of Hope was developed as a response to revelations of church-related sexual abuse of children that came to public notice in 2010 when a small group of Catholic parishioners from the Ballarat region looked for ways to reach out to survivors, families and communities affected. These like-minded people formed the advocacy group Moving Towards Justice Inc (MTJ) and created a callout:
‘Can we, together, in constructing the Quilt of Hope, be the glue for each other as we seek the justice and care that is your due?’
The Quilt, devised by Carmel Moloney, designed and created by Beryl Andersen, was sewn by many volunteers as community collaboration over three years. It represents men and women abused as children, advocates who have spoken up and suffered consequences of challenging a powerful institution, families whose lives have changed forever, and symbolizes the voices of those who care.
Each visual and physical element is conceptually considered. The calico and red thread used references from the Remembrance and the Changi Quilts, held in the Australian War Memorial Collection, where internees made quilts from calico flour bags and encoded them with messages of love and hope.
The MTJ contributors to the Quilt of Hope selected symbols and text conceptually related to each story, for example, broken lines representing discontinuity, and red doves symbolising those who have suicided. Buttons represent memory and loss. It is the social, as well as historical context of this Quilt which makes it special and worthy of greater attention.
MTJ donated the Quilt of Hope to MADE in June 2015 and is on display to encourage visitors to share their stories as a move toward healing.
MADE recognises the importance of the Quilt as a grassroots democratic social intervention, as its inception precedes the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse and its purpose in providing avenues to healing from atrocities. It is a socially engaged artwork and living cultural project of great importance to the region of Ballarat, those affected by the crimes and the impact of institutional responses to allegations.
MADE is dedicated to promoting democratic rights and is, therefore, an appropriate keeping place for this historical document, providing a vehicle for visibility to audiences nationally and internationally.
Inscriptions & Markings
Makers contact details on the back of the quilt in red marker.