Delapré Abbey in Northampton to host artwork in tribute to the NHS

Made in honour of front-line NHS staff, the exhibit offers a chance for ‘reflection’

By Max Pearson
Tuesday, 5th April 2022, 8:15 am

Delapré Abbey in Northampton is set to host artwork made in tribute to the NHS this Friday (April 8).

Created from hospital bed sheets, the “poignant piece” ‘In Memoriam’ by artist Luke Jerram will be exhibited on the Abbey’s South Lawn, with a free programme of events for the public to get involved in.

Opening on Friday, the piece is a temporary memorial for the public to visit and remember all those lost in the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Visitors will have a chance to express their own feelings about the pandemic when they attend

The artwork is also made in tribute to NHS health and care workers who have been “risking their lives” during the crisis.

Luke Jerram said: “We've all been impacted and have had our lives turned upside down by the pandemic. Many people are grieving for loved ones they've lost, whilst others are living with long Covid and missing the lives they used to have.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, it feels like we need a place to reflect upon what we've been through and remember those we've lost. I hope this artwork can act as a safe place for people to visit, to contemplate and remember.”

Richard Clinton, chief executive, Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust added: “We are delighted to bring Luke Jerram’s In Memoriam to Northampton. Through the artwork and the accompanying activities, we hope to provide the community with a space to contemplate and process the past two years.”

Alongside the exhibition there will be artwork created by the local community.

In response to ‘In Memoriam’, The Curator Educator has worked with schools (Delapre Primary, The Abbey Primary School and Queen Eleanor Primary Academy) to create artwork inspired by Tibetan prayer flags that encapsulate the children’s experiences during the pandemic.

These will be displayed in the grounds of the Abbey.

In addition, Warts and All Theatre will exhibit responses to a community call-out. Fifty quotes, feelings and thoughts from local residents, reflecting on the pandemic, will be exhibited on large boards around the grounds of the Abbey.

There will also be a programme of activities and events for the public to get involved in:

On Sunday April 10 at 11am, Northamptonshire Walks will lead a short walk starting and ending at the Abbey, enabling participants to take in the artwork and surrounding area in an informal way. On April 13, 19 and 21 (between 3-8pm), arts organisation Fevered Sleep will lead a series of Grief Gatherings in various locations across the town. ‘This Grief Thing’ is a project that encourages people to think, talk and learn about grief. On April 18 at 6.30pm: Explore how you see the world with a photography workshop. On April 19 at 7.30pm: Using the artwork as a stimulus, learn how to respond through creative writing.

In Memoriam was originally commissioned by the Weston Arts and Health Weekender and has subsequently toured the UK and Europe. The display has been made possible through support from Northampton Town Council’s Community Grant Scheme.

The piece will be exhibited at Delapré Abbey until Monday April 18. Entry is free.