knit the walls - the final exhibition

Community, Exhibitions, Free

Friday 11th November 10:00am – Sunday 4th December 2022 4:00pm

God's House Tower, Town Quay Road, Southampton, SO14 2NY

Much-loved community project ‘knit the walls’ comes to God’s House Tower for its spectacular final exhibition.

From Friday 11th November until Sunday 4th December, God’s House Tower became a hub for creativity and community as we celebrated the lasting legacy of Sarah Filmer’s popular project. Across four weekends, visitors had the opportunity to connect, collaborate and create their own interpretations of the city’s history and identity through collaborative sessions, knitting activities and events.


Exhibition – knit the walls by Sarah Filmer

In the Main Gallery, visitors could immerse themselves in a mesmerising knitted installation which manifests the domestic and the everyday. Drawing on Virginia Woolf’s ‘A Room of One’s Own’ and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’, the exhibition brought together a collection of co-created knitted objects and keepsakes to form a fully knitted room. From books to furniture and ceramics, many of the objects featured in the exhibition held personal histories and were vessels of the participants stories.

In the Project Space, visitors were invited to enjoy a series of photo reels that document and share the many memories created through the project over the years seen through the eyes of the participants.

You could also enjoy a collection of short films by young filmmaker Imogen Dunlop, as part of Southampton Film Week. Back in 2018, SFW: Shorts, Southampton Film Week’s own short film competition, received a submission from its youngest ever filmmaker, 13 year old Imogen Dunlop.  The film was a short documentary about the knit the walls community project, and saw Imogen win the Audience Award at the SFW: Shorts Screening and Awards Ceremony.  Four years on, as knit the walls came to an end, Imogen created a new film exploring the project’s conclusion. Both films were on display in the Project Space for the duration of the exhibition.

This exhibition ran from Friday 11th November to Sunday 4th December in God’s House Tower.

You can download a large print exhibition guide as a PDF – knit the walls – Large Print Exhibition Guide


Concurrent Events


In Conversation – Q&A with Sarah Filmer and Imogen Dunlop

Project founder and artist Sarah Filmer and young filmmaker Imogen Dunlop came together at GHT for an in-conversation event about the project and the films. Through informal discussion and the sharing of stories, they reflected on how knit the walls inspired and empowered the local community.


Exhibition Launch Event

As we launched the spectacular finale exhibition of popular co-created project ‘knit the walls’, we hosted an evening of sharing stories and celebrating community. At the launch event, you could hear from project founder Sarah Filmer and many participants who took part in ‘knit the walls’ over the years, as they discussed their memories and shared their stories of the project and its lasting legacy.

At the launch, the ‘knit the walls’ group also took custom orders for items created from the works produced in the knitting sessions with proceeds going towards Southampton charities Yellow Door and the Society of St James.


Free workshop – Reimagining Knitting: A Community Prospective

The Digital Scholarship Team from University of Southampton hosted ‘Reimagining Knitting: A Community Prospective’, a free AHRC funded workshop facilitated by ‘knit the walls’ founder Sarah Filmer and oral historian Padmini Broomfield which explored how interactive 3d models and 3d printer replicas of selected items from the Knitting Reference Library (KRL) hosted at the University of Southampton Library can make collections more accessible and support the creation of new narratives.


FLARB (Free, Lazy, Arty, Radical Book Club)

Join ZEST Arts Collective for FLARB (Free, Lazy, Arty, Radical Book Club), a free reading session in response to the knit the walls project.


Free workshop – GHT Creative Writing Group #5

Join the GHT Creative Writing Group for a special workshop which explored the knit the walls exhibition and invited participants to share their own stories of Southampton.


About knit the walls

Having first launched in 2016, ’knit the walls’ is a public art co-creation project involving many of Southampton’s residents and visitors in the co-production of a knitted, woollen version of the city’s medieval walls. Led by artist Sarah Filmer, the project invites participants and audiences to reconnect with stories, memories and alternative histories that are lost over time and unrecorded in books and archives, through creative practice.