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Every Stitch A Memory: Remembering The Holocaust In Needlepoint

Every Stitch A Memory
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Needlepoint is normally a craft you’d associate with quaint pillow cases and warm reminders of home sweet home. Netty Vanderpol has done something completely different.

Vanderpol is a Holocaust survivor. In the mid 1980s, after hearing a speech on bearing witness by Nobel prize-winner Elie Wiesel, Vanderpol felt compelled to tell the story of her experience as a Dutch victim of the Nazis. She chose to do it through needlepoint.

The project took her six years. Six years of sitting with the memories, fabric across her lap, pushing the needle down and pulling up the yarn. Journeying back through details and images she had never shared with anyone.

The twenty pieces she created are stunning. She uses spare, muted colors. It is artwork whose abstraction and delicacy stands in defiant contrast to the reality and brutality of what Vanderpol experienced.

The needlepoint currently hangs at the North Hill Residential Living Community in Needham, where Vanderpol lives. She spoke with Radio Boston’s Meghna Chakrabarti.

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Host Meghna Chakrabarti introduces us to newsmakers, big thinkers and artists and brings us stories of relevance to Bostonians here and around the region. Live every weekday at 3 p.m. and 10 p.m.

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