10.02.11 16:53 Age: 1 yrs

“Stitching Peace” – stories of peace in thread and fabric


Quilt “Peace Dove” by Irene MacWilliam, Northern Ireland, 1987

The World Council of Churches is hosting an international exhibition of textiles, arpilleras and quilts from 16 February to 18 March at its Geneva headquarters. An arpillera is an appliqué collage from Latin America that depicts facets of the artist’s land and culture.


The exhibition prepares the way for the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (IEPC) which will take place in Kingston, Jamaica from 16 to 25 May 2011.  A specially commissioned work, “Journey to Peace”, by quilter and textile artist Deborah Stockdale will be unveiled at the exhibition. Three other works have never been seen before and have been specially made at the invitation of the curator.


The curator of the exhibition is Roberta Bacic, a former member of Chile’s truth and reconciliation commission. Bacic, who now lives in Northern Ireland, is an educator who uses the arts as a way for people to tell their stories and build peace.


In her introduction to the exhibition catalogue Bacic says that the collection presents “a ‘bigger picture’ of a peaceful society.” She adds that the exhibition “also depicts the use of nonviolent actions as a way to address urgent social issues.”


In his foreword to the catalogue WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit says: “these works stitch together stories that make up the vision we find in the Bible of resisting injustice and working for peace, of piecing together relationships that have been torn.”


The exhibition will transfer to Kingston in May where it will form a key part of the Peace Convocation. The hope is that participants will be inspired to weave their stories of overcoming violence in artistic form as well as in the telling of stories and writing of reports.


For the duration of the Stitching Peace exhibition in Geneva the World Council will also host a further piece of textile art called “Cast Lead” by Heidi  Drahota from Germany, formerly part of Bacic’s exhibition “The Human Cost of War” at the Harbour Museum in Derry, Northern Ireland.

Bacic will officially open the exhibition on Wednesday 16 February at 15:30 with WCC moderator Rev. Dr Walter Altmann and general secretary Tveit on the first day of the World Council of Churches Central Committee meeting in Geneva.


Music at the opening will be provided by Tony Kempster, who has worked for many years with Movement for the Abolition of War.

Download the exhibition’s catalogue:

Download the exhibition’s flyer: