Calne artist thinks out of the box for final gift
3:00pm Saturday 14th September 2013 in Latest News
CANCER survivor Davina Kemble’s decision to make her own unique pebble-shaped coffin has been so popular she is turning it into a business.
The 59-year-old Calne artist was diagnosed with cancer after a routine check-up last year.
Since then doctors have given her the all-clear, but her illness got her thinking about her own mortality.
Mrs Kemble, who graduated this year with a first in applied art and design from Bath Spa University, said: “I just thought, why would I ever be buried in something somebody else is making?
“When I came to the other side of being ill I thought, what if it had been terminal? What if I had died? I would have ended up being put in someone else’s box.
“Being an artist you are more in touch with your mortality than other people.
“For me, the idea of being laid flat on my back with a lid up against my nose is horrible.
“That’s when I started to do the research.
“I came across an article about bones found curled up during an archaeology dig in Kazakhstan and I thought, that’s it.
“This is going back in history – this is how people used to be buried, curled up.”
After university she spoke to David Crampton, director of Vic Fearn and Company Ltd, a Nottingham-based firm which specialises in bespoke coffins, who helped her make her designs a reality.
Her coffin was unveiled as a prototype at the Good Funeral Awards ceremony in Bournemouth last weekend and can now be ordered and made to order.
Mrs Kemble, who will continue studying for an MA in fine art, said: “All of it was never going to go any further, but I’ve been overwhelmed by the response.
“I have spoken to people who have lost children and they have said to me ‘if this had been available when my child had died, this is how I would have buried them’.
“The pebble for me represents a final gift for someone who was in touch with art and nature.
“It contains the body in a loving position and in a loving way.”
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