About the project
There is something so warm and welcoming, so calming and inviting when even a bare room has a rug laid out on the floor. As a species, we have always created ways, with the materials at hand, to make textile objects that we cherish and exchange, to make ourselves and our loved ones feel good (yes, practical/utilitarian, as well as, aesthetically/heart uplifting). Nana Blankets focuses specifically on those cherished blankets that are so familiar to us, made by the caring hands of individuals in our lives, in particular, our grandmothers. It takes a community to nurture an individual; it takes those individuals to create community. This mural is dedicated to our Nana’s.
The third installment of Pannepacker’s Wall of Rugs series, Nana Blankets is paint and textile mural project on the Diamond street bridge in North Philadelphia. The colorful mural consists of paintings on the metal diamond plate, and ‘shag’ textiles on the chain link fencing. The bottom concrete portion on both sides of the bridge is a continuous stenciled black and white graphic of knots/stitches/loops.
Wall of Rugs 1 & 2 : the global language of textiles was about the international “language” of textiles, & a celebration of aesthetic beauty in many countries. Nana Blankets has a similar aesthetic sensibility, but is instead designed to look and feel like crochet afghans and blankets from our family/community homes. Think- security blanket, welcome, ease & comfort; think-love, family, home, belonging and support/care.
The design incorporates community submitted images of handmade blankets & afghans. Submissions also included stories about the loved ones who made them.
This poem a text panel of the mural is a good summary of the intention and spirit of the piece:
Opening this blanket a pattern unfurls
Each stitch reveals a sweet memory
Wrapped in the circular warmth of your love
You hold me close, whispering clearly:
“Don’t give up, I believe in you.”