York, England
United Kingdom
York Teaching Hospital North Yorkshire AIDS Memorial Quilt since 1 December 1996
71 names
In Conversation With Faye Oakenfull, Founder Of Fayeeo London [excerpt]
25 March 2020

Where did your love of stitching, quilting and design first begin?

I'm lucky enough to come from a very creative family. My dad is an exhibition designer and my mum studied jewellery design at art school. Mum looked after us full time and was always working on personal projects when we were growing up. She was a keen quilter and also made ragrugs, so craft was a huge part of my childhood. I'm pretty sure she took school competitions more seriously than we did! She also volunteered for North Yorkshire AIDs Action for many years after the loss of her Uncle Walter (my great uncle) in 1993. In 1996 she travelled to Washington DC to see the largest ever display of The NAMES project AIDs Memorial Quilt. This quilt is the largest piece of community folk art in the world (currently weighing 54 tons) and celebrates the lives of people who have died of AIDS-related causes. Later that year, mum was involved in organising a smaller display of the quilt in my hometown of York. I was only 5 at the time but remember how impressive and beautiful the huge panels of the quilt were. I've been obsessed with quilts and the idea of storytelling and healing through stitch ever since.

Photo © North Yorkshire AIDS Action The C Word Mag
(Faye’s Mum (on the left) with the original panel of the North Yorkshire AIDS Memorial Quilt)

1 December 1996
Josie Kennedy, London