red betty is the story of a lady who started out as one person and ended up quite a different one.
In the film Amelie, there is a woman who mourned her ex-husband, a man who’d lied to her and left her. She lived in a kitsch little world of memories where reality and remembrance had merged a little. Blurred with time, after the tears came a little polish and shine, some embellishment, some doilies added, some sprinkles scattered. This lady, well, imagine if she was also mixed in a bit with…
Nurse Gladys Emanuelle - from ‘Open All Hours’. A strange combination? Well Nurse Gladys Emanuelle lived a small life and was the daughter that lived with and cared for her mother. She would have been surrounded by her mother's life and personality, her possessions, photos, tea cups, buttons.... every little funny bit and bob.
Throughout her daughter’s life she collected memento's and added them to a quilt. The special cherry red quilt represented a life of love, effort and memories. All manner of textile ephemera went on – doilies covered tears that had spilled, a sentimental silk poem ‘my daughter’, talked of her love, a silly one about kissing a frog – referenced a teenage talk about boys, bits from travels, brownie and guide badges, buttons, lace, ribbons, velvet trim…. anything she deemed precious, interesting or beautiful enough went on.
And then one day, this lady turned out to be me. I had a daughter, very miraculously and very wonderfully. I’ll work on this quilt as I work on being a mother, until the day my daughter wants to take it from me or hide it away where none of her friends can see it. I have no idea where it's going, if it'll get wrecked, become more beautiful or become crazily over-worked.