The Cloth of Kindness at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital
Norfolk and Norwich Hospital Chapel March-April 2016
The Cloth was exhibited in the hospital chapel where it brought comfort to many bereaved and distressed families. Packs were made available for those at the hospital, including staff, patients, volunteers and visitors, to take away and sew their thoughts on kindness and compassion. We also held sewing workshops in the Chapel where people could come and sit quietly and talk and sew. One long stay patient said the experience was the first time during her three months at the hospital in which she had not felt treated as if she were a ‘sick’ person.
In just five weeks over 70 individual samples were sewn by many individuals. These are being combined into The Norfolk and Norwich Cloth of Kindness which will be exhibited at Easter 2017 in the Hospital.
We hope that The Cloth of Kindness will continue to grow, returning to the hospital, particularly to work with cancer patients in 2017. We also to hope to work with hospices and bereaved children over 2017.
The Cloth of Kindness
Burning Bush Barn Contemplative Art Space; Julian of Norwich – Creativity and Compassion May 2015
The Cloth was inspired by the beautiful embroidered letters of Lorina Bulwer, a resident on the lunatic ward of the Great Yarmouth Workhouse in the late 19th century. Her letters are full of anger and pain. I wanted this Cloth to be, in contrast, a Rant of Kindness. I loved the energy and urgency in Lorina’s embroidered writing and I wanted to replicate that.
I asked people who had been kind to me to send me their ideas and experiences of Compassion. I also asked for fragments of red material. The words on the cloth are a mixture of many people’s thoughts, my own meditations on Compassion, and the writings of Julian of Norwich. While working on the Cloth I made daily readings of Revelations of Divine Love. The scraps of material and threads are mainly donated, often with moving personal stories attached to the fabric.
I wanted the Cloth to be soft to the touch. Making this has been a deeply spiritual experience, feeling connected to so much evidence of compassion. I hope that through the power of words and sewn prayer, the Cloth can bring comfort and healing to those who suffer.
Some Mornings I Walk Through Heaven’s Door
Burning Bush Barn Contemplative Art Space, On the Whole, October 2013
I walk my dog everyday down a narrow wooded lane – very occasionally the light hits the trees in such a way that there is a beautiful circle of light. For the last five years I have been photographing this phenomena at different times of day and year.
On the Line
Burning Bush Contemplative Arts Space, Faith on the Line, October 2010
Book, painting on pillow cases and film