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Resting Place

2014 - 2016
Resting Place

Jonathan Pigram

Resting Place was a series of individual live performances taking place sporadically across a two year period responding to events written in the diary of First World War VAD nurse, Clarice Spratling, and the journey she undertook. Resting Place.


Clarice Spratling

Clarice Spratling was a young woman of 24 when she decided, along with two friends, to assist the British war effort. The three women became Voluntary Aid Detachment nurses and headed to France in September 1915. Clarice began writing a diary, initially full of expectation and excitement as she prepared to leave her Ramsgate home. The record of her journey soon darkened as she became witness to the horrors unfolding on the Western Front.


Discovering Clarice’s diary in her parent's attic, artist Dawn Cole was fascinated to learn she had a great aunt who took a fit of fancy and headed to France. Winner of the V&A prize at the international print biennale 2011, and shortlisted for 2013 Arts Foundation Award, Cole has been developing the ‘Resting Place’ project since the beginning of 2012. Using pillowcases as a representation of the suffering of Clarice’s charges, this live performance project draws in the viewer to consider aspects of the war more often left untold; from the viewpoint of a young woman on the frontline.


With funding from Arts Council England and Kent County Council, a series of live performances of contemporary movement and spoken word will accompany the laying out of the pillowcases in public spaces. The imagery will mirror the war graves of the Wimereux cemetery in France, near to where Clarice was posted, and where some of the men she nursed are buried.

Live Events

The first series of Resting Place performances began in spring 2014. Starting in Ellington Park, opposite Clarice's home in the Kent coastal town of Ramsgate, each one off performance taking its inspiration from the pages of Clarice's diary and the journey she made.

Ellington Park, Ramsgate, Kent* Sunday 23 March 2014

Charing Cross Station, London Saturday 10 May 2014 & Ramsgate Station, Kent

Seafront, Folkestone, Kent Sunday 28 September 2014

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