The book contains almost 100 beautiful photographs of contemporary whitework textiles and their creators, accompanied by insightful commentaries.
This unique book has the power to do many things: to bring comfort to those who face fear; to show a way to travel towards a calmer normality; to inspire creativity; to enjoy uplifting artworks; to send good intentions to those who need love; to donate to Cancer Communities, Nursing and Hospice Care.
Support the Whitework Project
Buy a book for yourself or gift one to a friend. Books are for sale here
How the Whitework Project began
The artists Denise Wyllie and Clare O Hagan had an Art Science Residency at a Cancer Research UK funded laboratory in London. This resulted in the 42 metre artwork “Transformations in Science and Art”. This is in permanent exhibition at the Royal Mint and a series of prints based on DNA discoveries are held in private collection in London and Nottingham University Medical School. From creating the 42 metre textile artwork came a sister project called Whitework.
Why we started the Whitework Project
We started the project because we wanted to help people who lives have been affected by cancer. We ran a series of workshops where people made a small textile artwork in white. Everybody had their own story and reason to create an individual piece of whitework.
The Whitework Book
Based on the outcomes created during the workshops we have produced a book that shows the artworks and thoughts of those who took part. By focussing on creative therapy a person can get some respite from the chaotic world that cancer brings. All the pieces created during the workshops were combined to make a monumental textile that was exhibited in the UK and abroad.
Inside the Whitework Book:
Giving support to Cancer Charities
We are donating 20% of book sale profits for every book sold, to Cancer Communities, Nursing and Hospice Care.
We are also gifting 500 books to Cancer Support communities including Hospices in the UK and Ireland and to newly diagnosed women with cancer in the USA. The purpose being that people can get five minutes peace when looking at the book.
Join the Whitework Project
You are invited to take part in our ongoing project, create and share your own textile Whitework. It will be great to see your contributions from all over the world, meet the makers and learn more about their approach and motivation.
Instructions on how to make Whitework
Size 30 cms square or 12 inches square.
Materials: use only white, off-white, traditional and contemporary textile materials, fabrics and embellishments.
Techniques; any traditional and contemporary methods – e.g. woven, knitted,
crocheted, bonded, stitched, fused, appliquéd, lacework, cutwork, pulled threads, folded, low relief structures, embroidered, stumpwork, tapestry, padded,
embellished and printed.
Design: abstract only, no pictures or words.
Photograph your Whitework, in good light to make sure the image is sharp.
Email your digital photograph to firstname.lastname@example.org up to 20MB in size in jpeg highest resolution format.
List creator’s name, process and personal significance to you.
We will include your work on the website and intend to update the book to include new images.
By uploading your image, you agree to give Wyllie O Hagan permission to publish it online and in print.
What people say about our book
“Whitework – A Gentle Path offers both visual stimulation and a means of opening up a wider conversation about the inherent values of the craft. A beautiful and meaningful publication.”
Joe Pitcher co-creator of TextileArtist.org
“The quiet serenity of art such as Whitework can work wonders to help some people in coping with cancer.”
Jimmie C. Holland, MD, Wayne E. Chapman Chair in Psychiatric Oncology,
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, USA
“It has changed my associations with cancer from grey, bleak, forbidding to light, hope, and thoughtfulness.”
Jane Ray, Artistic Director of The Whicker’s World Foundation,
formerly producer, BBC Radio 4, London, UK
“This book lends itself so subtly and beautifully to the immersion of self when moving through the painful human condition of dealing with uncertainty. The purity of the white contrasting in absence, the darkness of the unknown, that rare intensity that cancer evokes. Denise Wyllie and Clare O Hagan have brought together the acknowledgement of experience within a healing vessel
Helen Monaghan, BACP Counsellor and Psychotherapist, London, UK
“It was a huge privilege to support this inspirational artwork project. What a beautiful outcome!”
Professor John Hartley, Professor of Cancer Studies, UCL Cancer Institute, London, UK