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‘Words of Wisdom’ is a big bold colourful textile artwork made by older people in Wandsworth celebrating their knowledge and experience. The 3m-wide piece was assembled from 50 or so smaller pieces on which individual makers have stitched, knitted or embroidered a saying or piece of advice they value and would like to pass down to others. It was made for Wandsworth Arts Fringe 2018 and was displayed across five venues during the festival. It was shown at St George's Hospital Tooting later in the year. During that time patients, staff and visitors contributed their own words of wisdom which were displayed at various places throughout the South London hospital. 

'Words of Wisdom' reclaims the notion of the Elder – which has been lost in our culture. Although we are living longer than ever there is an awful lot of negativity around ageing in our culture. I hope the project offers a small antidote to this perception. 

During the Fringe members of the public of all ages including local school children shared their own wise words and made colourful textile panels, some of which have been put together to form further artworks. 

More than 30 over 60s from the following organisations took part: the Katherine Low Settlement sewing group, University of the Third Age sewing, knitting and embroidery groups, volunteers from Scrapstore in Tooting, members of the Wandsworth Asian Women’s Association as well as residents from Mount Court in Putney. 'Words of Wisdom' was made with the kind support of Enable Arts.

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