In my work for Room for You Arts in Health, it is great when I can find a way to engage patients and their families in a common project. The Armistice Centenary provided such an opportunity. I set up a tray with resources to knit poppies several weeks before November 11th. My idea was to have poppies surrounding a silk painting that would include the centenary dates..
To my delight, people really took to the idea, each week we would arrive at the Radiotherapy waiting area where our project is based to find more poppies. The one knitted pattern I left out spawned a dozen patterns in knit and crochet
So with the poppies mounting up it was time to begin the silk painting. I chose to depict a soldier in the trench – to help us remember the event we are commemorating. A sunset sky helps to suggest it is the end of the war and the text ‘We Remember’ is set in a stained glass pattern beneath the soldier.
Patients awaiting treatment in a Radiotherapy helped to paint the image and then I took it away to my workshop to prepare it for display. I also took a selection of the poppies to begin stitching them to a net support.
Finally on November 7th, the installation could take place. Thank goodness for colleagues! It took four of us, cheered on by patients and their families to secure the framework supporting the net of poppies. Once that was done two of us continued to stitch poppies into place. There were a lot of poppies!
By 6pm the final poppy was stitched into place* and the artwork was complete.
We have received so many lovely comments about the installation and we will keep it on display for a month for people to enjoy it.
* we came back a week later to find even more poppies- and added them to the piece 😊
Now I need to think of another project that will be as successful in engaging patients and their families as this has been!