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 top left panel commemorates “The Twenty Four Whose Lives Were Claimed By AIDS in Sheffield”, dated July 1992.
The top right panel jointly commemorates: Kevin (1990, remembered by a dog and tennis racquet); Dave (1991, remembered by a large heart); Jeff (1990, remembered by a hat, rucksack, and flowers), and Steve (1992, remembered by a hat and checked shirt).
The central left panel remembers Peter Allen, the Australian singer-songwriter and musician. It depicts a piano inscribed with ‘Liza’ (he was the first husband of Liza Minelli) and Judy (Judy Garland), beneath the words “Bi-Coastal”, the title of Peter’s most successful album.
The upper central panel commemorates Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989), the renowned American photographer, best known for his black-and-white portraits and self portraits. His legacy lives on through his work, and the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation he established in 1988, a year prior to his death. The Foundation has dual mandates of promoting photography as an artform, and supporting HIV/AIDS medical research.
The lower central 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.
The central right panel commemorates Michael Sundin, the English television presenter, actor, dancer, and trampolinist. Reflecting his role as a presenter of BBC children’s programme Blue Peter, the panel depicts the iconic Blue Peter badge adorned with red ribbons.
The bottom left panel remembers Tom Lawrie, made by his former colleague Alastair Hume & W.E.S.T. Workshop. The Greek islands depicted reflect his favourite memory of Tom, when he went on holiday to Greece with his lover Stuart: “Tom had been told by his consultant that he was too unwell to go to Greece but he was determined – maybe he wanted to die there. It was made possible for him to go – he left in a wheelchair. The wonders of the sun! Tom came back alive and very well minus the wheelchair and with a tan! He looked stunningly healthy. It didn’t last but the quality of his life improved for a couple of months.”
The bottom right panel remembers Kim (16.11.89). A sun is depicted at the centre of the panel, with song lyrics either side:
On the left, from the Guns N’ Roses song Sweet Child O’ Mine:
“She’s got a smile that it seems to me
Reminds me of childhood memories
Was as fresh as a bright
Now and then when I see her face
She takes me away to that special place
And if I stared too long
I’d probably break down and cry”.
On the right, from the Guns N’ Roses song Rocket Queen:
“I see you standing
Standing on your own
It’s such a lonely place for you
For you to be
If you need a shoulder
Or if you need a friend
I’ll be here standing
Until the bitter end.”
“Don’t ever leave me
Say you’ll always be there
All I ever wanted
Was for you
To know that I care”
Sheffield 24 - Kevin, Dave, Jeff, Steve - Peter Allen - Robert Mapplethorpe - Keith Haring - Michael Sundin - Tom Lawrie - Kim
Zoom in and see all the details on Google Arts & Culture page.