The Justice Storytelling Quilt was a CCJC-sponsored project by multi-media artist, Meagan O’Shea.
Meagan O’Shea and Susie Shantz sewed a quilt made from 40 patches of symbolic descriptive images produced by victims and offenders from across Canada. A touch on any patch activates a two minute audio testimony by its designer, describing the sorrowful event that took place in his/her life – fifteen stories in French and twenty-five in English.
A quilt reminds us of comfort, warmth and security. It protects us from the cold and hostile elements. There was a time when quilts were made from the scraps of material left over from sewing dresses and shirts. There was also the delight of seeing how these pieces could be put together to make a beautiful artistic design.
These concepts are also found in this quilt. It tells the stories of forty very sorrowful and horrifying events and has a way of bringing us together as a community. Since quilts represent a safe place, we find courage to listen to people share the details of the murder of a family member. The artistic image helps to portray the violence in an unthreatening manner. Just as the scraps have purpose and meaning when they are pieced together, so the wounded bits and shattered pieces of our lives can also be brought together to project a powerful message of peace.
The purpose of the quilt is not primarily to sensitize us to the pain of victims and offenders which could make us very angry and vindictive. It is designed rather, to bring us together so that we may empathize with the suffering, hope and courage of victims and offenders.
CCJC created a promotional movie about the Justice Storytelling Quilt. Please click here to read the DVD’s insert (pdf – 5.8mb).
View the Stitched Together Video
The Stitched Together video has been divided into 7 parts.
[ultimate 3 /]
What has been said about the Quilt experience
“Not Just Black And White” CCJC’s Justice Storytelling Quilt Featured In St. John’s Art Show – read more
Touring the Quilt in Manitoba (By Margot Lavoie, CCJC’s past-president, in 2007-2008) – read more (pdf)
The Justice Storytelling Quilt (Niagara Anglican, December 2006) – read more (pdf)
Victims and offenders share stories with talking quilt (Kitchener-Waterloo Record, May 2nd, 2006) – read more (pdf)
Quilt speaks pain and courage: Stories of horror, loss and compassion are sewn together in talking art (The Ottawa Citizen, November 14th, 2005) –read more (pdf)