Thursday, November 06, 2008

Healing Art

There's and article in the current FiberArts Magazine about Sherry Lynn Wood who teaches how to make Passage Quilts which aid the maker in the bereavement process. Using the clothing of a loved one, you work through a five step process to make a quilt. The process of choosing the clothes, cutting them up, and then piecing, quilting, and sharing the quilt gives the space to come to terms with and make sense of the loss.

She offers workshops and consultations. The quilts can mark not only the loss of a loved one, but other life changes. She is based here in San Francisco and in Durham, North Carolina. I've got a bag of my father's neck ties and have been waiting to figure out the right project for them. I was thinking big, like and vest, and small, maybe a picture frame. I have actually spread them all out on more than one occasion. Wood's process is making me think of the project in a different light. Instead of trying to use all the ties, or make them match, I need to let them be what they want.

There was an article in the paper here about another woman who uses art to make sense of the pain in our world, through sprituality. Debra Classen was nineteen-year-old an art student when her mother was raped and murdered almost thirty years ago. Classen stopped creating art at the time of the tragedy. Years later she became a Catholic and holds a degree in theology and came back to art in 2002. Her ministry, The Mute Swan, strives is:

... a non-profit, spiritual organization dedicated to discovering beauty in all its forms. Our goal is to educate and encourage others to live a contemplative life. We believe the radiance of God's beauty is to be discovered in nature, art, relationships, life, even within great suffering. A well lived life embraces the harmonious integrity of this vision and sharing God's beauty and love with others.

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