19 drawings by 19 cousins
gathered into a diptych patch
machine-knitted with STOLL CMS330 TC
in collaboration with
Knitting Museum, Sint Niklaas (BE)
For every grandchild that has been born in the Joris family,
Oma (our grandmother) would meticulously gather fabric,
draft a design for months and sew a unique quilt by hand,
to match each child’s personality. In the past 45 years,
she has crafted over 50 quilts, and gifted a unique quilt to every one of us.
A Family Portrait
consists of two knitted patchwork plaids,
gathering drawings from all 19 cousins,
inspired by our collective childhood memories,
made as a gift to honor both of our grandparents.
Its playful colour scheme is reminiscent
of hot summers next to the water,
the smell of pine and also
their large collection of eclectic beach towels
we’ve known since forever.
Each 2m x 1m60
When Oma passed away in 2020, I witnessed for the first time the magnitude of my grandmother’s work at her funeral, where for the first time all of her quilts were reunited. Because of the Covid-pandemic, every second bench in church was to be left empty. Instead of leaving the benches bare, taped off with a red and white signal ribbon, my aunt sent out a request to the rest of the family. Every child, grandchild and great-grandchild was to bring their quilt made by Oma, and to lay it over one of the empty benches. The moving result was a powerful display of art as I had never witnessed before. Even though the pandemic restrictions proscribed all intimacy - a no-touching policy and facemasks to be worn at all times - the otherwise cold church was covered with blankets and our family connection felt strong, saying our goodbyes to Oma.
Out of respect, only details of A Family Portrait are shown.