Dr Abby Buckley, Eco Coffin Project Creator & Facilitator

Abby Buckley

Shroud. Artist: Abby Buckley. Title: Wrapped In Love. Dimensions: 1500 x 800 mm

Artist: Abby Buckley

Type: Shroud

Title: Wrapped In Love

Dimensions: 1500 x 800 mm

Materials: crochet yarn from upcycled cotton t-shirts gifted by family & friends

Why did you choose to work on a shroud rather than a coffin?

As the facilitator I was not thinking I would also work on a coffin or shroud but I was so inspired by the group and then had this idea for my shroud so joined in! There were only 5 coffins and they were already chosen by group members so a shroud it was for me. Am also realising for my values a shroud is a better fit (pardon the pun) because it is less ‘stuff’ I will be putting into the earth when I die.

What materials have you used for your artwork?

I make balls of yarn from old t-shirts and then crochet them into my shroud. I started using my son’s t-shirts but when they ran out I did a shout-out to friends and family on facebook asking for any much-loved cotton t-shirts they could part with. I have been inundated.

My daughter and I made a memory quilt each from Robbie’s t-shirts and shirts. I kept the t-shirt scraps and used them to make balls of yarn which I then crochet into my shroud.

What is the story behind your artwork. What does it represent about you and your life story?

My shroud has emerged and seems to have a life of its own. By the time it will be finished it will be a a symbol of my life. Being made from t-shirts from family and friends means my body will be wrapped in the memories of my life with all these beautiful souls who I have created memories with. What a gift. Each t-shirt that I cut up into a ball of yarn and then crochet into the shroud gives me sacred time to relive my memories with that person. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

What are 3 things you have learned from being part of the eco coffin project?

  • That I prefer a shroud to a coffin as less impact on the earth
  • That you can be cremated in a shroud so you don’t need an expensive coffin for either burial or cremation – wow!!
  • How much I love facilitating inspiring welcoming spaces for people to engage with death with their body, mind and soul – I have found my bliss!

What is one thing you will do (or have done already) differently as a result from being part of the project?

Facilitate another Eco Coffin Project and keep improving it from the generous feedback from our inspiring group members.

Any other thoughts or comments you would like to add?

I have been so blown away and humbled by the generosity of so many people to make this crazy thought-bubble of an idea come to life and become the Eco Coffin Project. You never do anything on your own and the Eco Coffin Project is the perfect example of what heart-based collaboration is all about and what it can achieve.

Thank you

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors who kept on saying “yes” for anything and everything we requested. It felt like the idea was weaving its magic through all of us to make itself emerge into the world. Thank you to the Gawler Environment Centre (Kathy our Coordinator and the Committee) for being the Host for this project. It is such a wonderful thing when you meet like-minded people and make things happen together!!

Thank you to the brave, courageous, pioneering, inaugural group members. It has been an honour to be your facilitator and I am so humbled by your enthusiasm and active participation through every part of the project as we made it up together as we went. You have expanded my world with your courage, stories and insights. You will forever have a place in my heart.

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