IMG_6047.jpg

KAREN WILLIAMSON 

Shroudmaker. Natural Dyer. NZRN.

My journey into making shrouds began during time spent as a palliative care nurse with hospice. During those years I had many honest and heartfelt conversations with people about their funeral wishes. I heard their aspirations to be eco friendly, to have authentic simple ceremonies, or to remain at home after death and be cared for by the people whom they trusted and loved.  I observed the powerful and uplifting impact that taking part in death care had on personal bereavement and witnessed the circle of community that arose around whānau to give support to their journey. 

 

The dying taught me a lot about living, that life is not a dress rehearsal, so in 2016 I left nursing to fulfil a long held dream to be a full time artist. Working with eco print and natural botanical dyes, I founded my own small sustainable clothing label - Nuku. Making shrouds seemed like a logical and meaningful extension of my artwork, dyeing with soul and purpose.

 

Papatūānuku inspires me, I find spiritual nourishment in the connection I have to the natural environment and seasons as I create the shrouds. Working with a sustainable kaupapa, to leave as little footprint on the earth as possible, extends to my own personal beliefs about death care. 

My intention for Ake Ake Shrouds is to create a gracious and unique option that has low impact on mother earth, inspires the choice for a natural funeral and empowers families to participate in the ritual of death care with autonomy and confidence.

I invite you to start the conversation.