WINNER - Rookwood Schools Award

Judges: Wendy Ramsay and Helen Yip said, “Intersections speaks to the diverse journeys and stories that intertwine over time, metaphorically embodied in the collaborative process of stitching. Created from reclaimed materials, this installation incorporates transparent netting and layers of fabric that invite audiences to peer through and contemplate the surrounding site. Connecting individual and collective experiences, Intersections prompts us to pause and consider how we respond to each other and build inclusive communities.”

Intersections, 2023

reclaimed netting and scrap fabrics, wool, thread, embroidery thread.



Intersections was created by students to acknowledge Refugee Week. An oversized patchwork blanket was made and embellished by students using hand stitching, applique, beading and embroidery techniques and based on the book ‘My Two Blankets’ by Irena Kobold. This blanket represents a visual intersection of lives, experiences, and cultures where different stories and memories come together. Through the process of creating the work, students engaged with the themes of empathy, understanding, and community-building and serves as a meditative reminder to the often-perilous journey that refugees undertake to seek safety and the many stories prematurely halted in the search for freedom.

About the Artist


Ashfield Public School is located on Gadigal Wangal Land in the inner west of Sydney, NSW.

Teachers: Karen Manning & Jane Bennett. 

Students: Whole School Collaboration, with students from Years K – 6.




DORIS: Hi, my name is Doris, and I'm in Year 5.

OLIVIA: And I'm Olivia, in Year 6.

DORIS: We're from Ashfield Public School, a multicultural primary school in Inner West Sydney, on Eora Country of the Wangal Clan.

OLIVIA: We have over 500 students, and we celebrate diversity, inclusivity and respect for each other and our surroundings.

DORIS: Every year since 2018, our whole school comes together to create a special collaborative sculptural artwork to acknowledge Refugee Week where we remember and learn about the journeys undertaken by displaced people and refugees.

DORIS: This year's theme for Refugee Week is "Finding Freedom” and the artwork we created is called "Intersections"

OLIVIA: Our project represents the intersection of lives, cultures, and stories coming together to create something new.

DORIS: We learn about empathy, understanding, and building a strong community.

OLIVIA: Just like displaced people on their journey to seek safety, security and home.

DORIS: "Intersections" is a huge patchwork blanket created by all of us and is over 13 metres long.

OLIVIA: There are 504 unique patches on it, each telling a student's story and convey emotion and experience.

DORIS: The raw edges and loose threads remind us that stories are always evolving.

OLIVIA: It's a symbol of hope, resilience, and community.

DORIS: Our artwork was inspired by a children’s book called "My Two Blankets" by Irena Kobald and illustrated by Freya Blackwood.

OLIVIA: It's about a girl named Cartwheel who moves to a new country.

DORIS: She creates a safe place for herself under an old blanket made of memories and thoughts.

OLIVIA: But she eventually weaves a new blanket of friendship and belonging, just like us, creating “Intersections".

OLIVIA: Our teacher, Ms. Manning, came up with the vision and concept, and guided us in creating our patchwork quilt.

DORIS: and we used upcycled and recycled fabric, like old clothing and upholstery, to make it. The coloured fabric used replicated the illustrations and colour palette of the book with each piece already having its own history and life before becoming art.

OLIVIA: Every student in our school participated by making their own patch and each patch tells a story of refuge and hope, just like the stories of refugees we want to share.

Millions of refugees have to leave their homes every year because of many reasons including war, persecution, natural disasters and safety. Our artwork, "Intersections," spreads awareness about their journeys.

DORIS: We hope that by sharing these stories, we can make a difference for many generations to come.

OLIVIA: Thank you for visiting "Intersections" with us.

DORIS: We're proud of our school's commitment to diversity and compassion.

OLIVIA: Together, we learn, grow, and make the world a better place.