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Artwork made in tribute to the NHS opens at Delapré Abbey this Friday

Created from hospital bed sheets, this poignant piece 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 8th April, In Memoriam is a temporary memorial for the public to visit and remember all those we have lost from the Covid-19 pandemic. The artwork is also made in tribute to all the NHS health and care workers who have been risking their lives during the crisis.

Presented in the open air against the backdrop of the Abbey, the structure – which is arranged in the form of a medical logo – allows people to enter, contemplate and explore the artwork.

Luke Jerram says: “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 local schools (Delapre Primary, The Abbey Primary School and Queen Eleanor Primary Academy) to create artwork inspired by Tibetan prayer flags that encapsulates the children’s experiences during the pandemic. These will be displayed in the grounds of the Abbey for all to see. Visitors will be encouraged to add to the artwork which will grow throughout the exhibition.

In addition, Warts and All Theatre will exhibit responses to a community call-out. 50 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 be a programme of activities and events for the public to get involved in:

  • On Sunday 10th April 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 13th, 19th and 21st April (between 3-8pm), arts organisation Fevered Sleep will lead a series of Grief Gatherings in various locations across the town. Please note that these sessions have been postponed, new dates will be announced shortly. Please register your interest in attending one of these grief gatherings by emailing
  • 18thApril, 6:30pm: Explore how you see the world with a photography workshop.
  • 19thApril, 7:30pm: Using the artwork as a stimulus, learn how to respond through creative writing.

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

In Memoriam will be exhibited at Delapré Abbey from Friday 8th till Monday 18th April. Entry is free.

In Memoriam by Luke Jerram commissioned by the Weston Arts + Health Weekender. Supported by Without Walls and FESTIVAL.ORG. Informed by the Wellcome Trust-funded ‘Weather Lives’ project, led by Dr Cassie Phoenix at Durham University.