BLAENAVON HERITAGE TOWN TAPESTRY
06 — 09 APRIL 2022
Blaenavon Heritage Town Tapestry is a project by Head4Arts, textile artist Penny Turnbull, digital specialist Natasha James, and residences of Blaenavon. Through collecting personal memories of shopping in Broad Street, as customers and shopkeepers, this spectacular 36-foot tapestry collage shares these stories through knitting, sewing, crocheting and weaving.
This interactive memory map of Broad Street mixes specific moments in time, and different perspectives, all relating to the stories collected. Some of the shops shown here no longer exist but have been reimagined from descriptions. Over the years, the shops have frequently changed format and usage, but here each one is frozen in time to reflect a personal memory. These glimpses into the town’s social history, have been digitally embedded into the fabric of the artwork, so that by removing the cards from the pockets in the “road” you can hear voices recounting the stories.
This is a living project which will later be used to support reminiscence work and conversations across generations at the Arthur Jenkins Care Home in Blaenavon,
Initiated before Covid, the project has had to adapt to circumstances, using craft packs to enable participants to help make parts of the artwork (the chapel and the road). The resulting ‘living tapestry’ embodies the work of a community living in isolation but working together to preserve and share collective memories of Blaenavon’s commercial history.
The Townscape Heritage Programme aims to promote interest in Blaenavon through activities to help rediscover its past and re-establish its links with the local community.
The Blaenavon Townscape Heritage Partnership is being delivered through funding contributions from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Torfaen County Borough Council, Blaenavon Town Council, Cadw and Private Sector Applicants.