Eco Coffin Project Artist: Elisabeth Whittaker (2021)

Elisabeth Whittaker

Shroud. Artist: Elisabeth Whittaker. Title: Shroud Project. Dimensions: 1500 x 1320 mm

Artist: Elisabeth Whittaker

Type: Shroud

Title: Shroud Project

Dimensions: 1320 x 1500 mm

Materials: cotton fabric, wool wadding

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

I like the idea of being buried close to the earth and with nothing much in between. The piece which I am showing will be put on top of my shroud. It was made by my sister and I love the colours and patterns she chose for me. I am still in the process of making my shroud which will be made with natural fabric. I have done lots of sewing in my life. My first job was as a machinist.

What materials have you used for your artwork?

It is made of cotton with wool insert. My shroud will be made with natural fabric, so it can decompose easily.

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

It means a lot that my sister made this for me. It’s all about family and connections. The butterflies represent spiritual rebirth , hope and the ability to change. There’s also some pattern with the Eiffel tower, a connection with my French heritage.

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

Death is inevitable so enjoy life. Being prepared for my funeral so it will make it easier for my family.

Any other thoughts or comments you would like to add?

I am hoping to be buried in Wirra Wonga or Pilyu Yarta in Smithfield . I love the space dedicated for shroud burials. It a beautiful place and hope a tree will be planted where I will be . It will also be a pleasant place for my family to visit.


Thanking Abby for offering this unusual workshop. Talking about death in a caring environment has helped me deal with it.

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