Presence and Absence
In the Fall of 2010 and Spring 2012, as a collaboration with the Center for Art and Public Life at California College of the Arts and Zen Hospice Project, I taught a course entitled "Presence and Absence". For the class, a group of undergraduate art, design and writing students focused their studies on end-of-life care as they worked to create pillows and an art blanket for the newly renovated Guest House. These soft forms are interactive objects that embody the qualities of touch, memory, intimacy and comfort. The imagery was created using a "freeform knit and crochet" technique in which small handmade pieces are brought together to form larger designs. The creation of the pillows lead us to seek help from the Zen Hospice Project Volunteers and staff who, when they had time, sat with us for knitting, crocheting and conversation.