Helen Jones

United Kingdom

My submission is called “The Rest” and is a textile hanging. The life-sized figure is made of shreds of old scarves and held together on a network of thread machined onto dissolving film. It is delicate, fragile and represents my determination to live. It depicts me taking the numerous rests as part of my CFS programme taken daily. It is the only thing that has managed to control and manage my symptoms and reduce the effects of activity or demanding times. The rest is at the core of me managing my CFS.

I had started to work in textiles when I first became ill. My doctor asked me, “What are your hobbies?” I responded, “Walking, camping and cycling.” He replied, “You need new hobbies.”  So, I took up art and textiles. Art has given me a new life that CFS took away. I am 54-years-old and became ill when I was 30. The first years were mostly bed- or sofa-bound with two major relapses. I now have an electric wheelchair but I did not get offered one and went for many years without. I live in Bedfordshire. If I got better I would walk up a mountain and camp with my partner.

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