Attic to heART
Fabric Memories Workshops


We probably all have a bag buried in the attic or at the back of a cupboard, the one with an item of clothing holding so many memories and emotions that we just cannot part with it. We know we’ll never wear the garment again – maybe we’ve never worn it. It belonged to a grandmother or a favourite uncle or a loved one who is no longer with us. And there the garment sits, too important to discard but so filled with connections that the heart cannot let go. 

Or you may not have an actual item of clothing but you do have the memory of a particular dress, garment or fabric that transports you to an occasion or series of events.

The idea of Attic to heART was developed when I came across my first communion dress that my mother had kept for over half a century. It had been exquisitely created by her and embodied both her deep love for me as well as her cultural and religious values. It had been deemed important enough to be included in all that was transported from South Africa to Portugal as the family moved back to the country of their origin.

In holding the fabric of such a garment in our hands or remembering a particular item of clothing we easily connect with all the memories and emotions the garment or fabric holds. The recorded neural pathways are reactivated and we are transported back to the day or the series of occasions and all that our nervous system noted of our experience. This provides the ideal situation to revisit the emotions and any particular, often unconscious, decisions / ways of thinking that were set down. 

These can be positive, negative or a mixture of both. Whatever they are, common to all, is that what the fabric holds is very particular to the holder. If the item of clothing or the memory remains tucked away so do the emotions it holds. Yet, often these treasures speak volumes about personal and family stories, and sometimes even carry cultural norms that have become part of our generation’s way of life.

Attic to heART and Fabric Memories workshops facilitate a deep physical and emotional engagement with what the garment or the memory holds. It enables the positive to be openly celebrated and the family story to be consciously handed to the next generation. In the case of negative memories and emotions, transforming the item of clothing or revisiting the memories within a space that is psychologically safe, allows for the transformation and healing of the associated knotted and unresolved emotions.  

The workshops provide the opportunity for the bringing together of a number of dimensions: revisiting important recorded memories and emotions, experiencing the sensations within the body, recognising the associated threads currently still present, experiencing the safe and supportive space within which to examine those threads and transform them into whatever is right for you at the time. 

All this happens within a context of creative expression. You will be the artist transforming the item of clothing into a work of art, your art, your story, your inner transformation, your creativity.