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Peckham post-riot Post-it note patchwork on show at cathedral

London SE1 website team

An artwork created from the messages left by local people in the wake of the summer 2011 riots in Peckham is now being exhibited in Southwark Cathedral.

Peckham post-riot Post-it note patchwork on show at cathedral
Lara Hailey and Canon Bruce Saunders with the I Love Peckham quilt

Southwark artist Lara Hailey coordinated a piece of artwork which displays one community's response to the riots and disorder that shocked and stunned the nation in August 2011.

Immediately after the riots a local theatre company, Peckham Shed, took the initiative to get people to write their thoughts on Post-it notes. The response was huge: 4,500 were collected and displayed in the damaged shopfront of the Poundland store.

Some of the notes read: "Don't believe in violence believe in love"; "Educate, motivate, stimulate our youth" and "Practice random kindness and senseless acts of love!"

A year later Lara – working with friends, students, local community groups and public stitch groups – has completed the task of embroidering 400 of these responses and constructing a patchwork.

The quilt is full of thoughtful messages encouraging hope, strength and a brighter future. The responses celebrate community spirit and Lara is keen to demonstrate how a piece of art can make something beautiful and positive in the face of adversity.

"The riots of last summer reminded us of how fragile and how easily broken are the fibres that hold our communities together," said Canon Bruce Saunders, sub-dean of Southwark Cathedral.

"When damaged, trust and confidence take time to re-grow. We are pleased to welcome this beautiful artwork on the anniversary of the riots as a sign of hope and healing."

The patchwork can be viewed in the south aisle of Southwark Cathedral until 17 September when it will tour other venues in London. The cathedral is open daily 8am-6.30pm.

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