Explore the Quilt

The collection of UK AIDS Quilts were made between 1989 and 1996 to commemorate friends, lovers and family members who passed away from an AIDS related illness during this time. You can zoom in to some of the specific details listed below.

The centre left panel is for Rodney, originally from St Louis, Missouri. The lily bush design refers to the botanic garden where he was buried.

The top left panel was made by Brad, a friend of Randy, who comments he ‘will always be angry’ for not being able to say goodbye. Randy’s friend Brad met him at a homeless shelter, and became companions over the following years. When in hospital, Brad described the spring flowers he could see from the window. Randy was a keen biker, and the last sentence he spoke was ‘I just wanna ride’.

The bottom centre panel remembers Terry. Terry’s colleague David remembers him with this panel and poem:
“I shan’t come to Pride again, you said
last year I saw too many faces
that weren’t there. Too many memories.
I don’t want to have to cope with them again this year.”

I thought of that
as I put off the final layers of my mourning –
making the decision: IT IS DONE.
What is past is past. now and forever.
Life shall go on. There will be joy again.

Now your face is one of that company –
no longer there. but NOT to unseen,
no forgotten multitude, (never forgettable)
not while fingers to count upon endure
(yearning for one more caress), lips to tell
(aching for another kiss), minds to remember
(needing constantly to rehearse the past).

Candles in the wind, fabric on the breeze.
angry voices slicing evening air,
such insubstantial memorials will say
what carved stone cannot.
We insist on the celebration of your lives –
we, you and us, will no longer go unmarked.
Your absent voices will so swell our cries
that no one can say they have not seen or heard.”

The centre panel remembers famous artist Keith Haring. Haring was one of the most commercially successful artists, who used his vast platform and following to raise awareness around the HIV/ AIDS crisis. His career was cut short by the disease but his legacy has impacted global audiences.


Howard Sasportas - Sandra (Sandy) Kane - Keith Haring - Terry - Randy - Rodney - Les - Richard

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