Blog

28th July 2018

Islands, Treasure maps and Red Squirrels

On the second of June I set off on a journey to ask where the memory of the dead live. I’ve been open about how my experiences shape The Grief Series but this is the first project where my autobiography has been front and centre. But rather than the project swimming in lake me, my hope has always been to use my autobiography to break down hierarchies. How can I ask you to share significant people and places with me if I’m not prepared to do the same? The caravan is an offering to get you thinking and talking. The…

17th June 2018

Matt Sykes-Hooban - guest blog

“Matt would you like to renovate an old caravan?”“Sure why not, sounds like fun”It was an odd request but I do like a challenge, I thought to myself how hard could it be? They do this sort of thing on TV programs all the time. It’s just case of ripping out the old, splash some paint around and fill with lovely new stuff, all pretty straight forward… EasyAfter spending about an hour gutting the old 80s interior out of Perle, I was starting to get that slow sinking feeling that I may have bitten off more than can chew. As…

5th June 2018

Clouds Parting

On Saturday night we launched Journey with Absent Friends in the beautiful grounds of Abbey House Museum. After a day of rain, the clouds parted and we were able to sit in the garden with the smell of Rosemary, the taste of Rhubarb iced tea and a beautiful view of the Abbey. And this change in the weather seems like a mirror of the process.We were delighted to get our funding decision in at the start of March. In 3 short months we have delivered an international conference with visiting practitioners from Mexico, India, Germany and the U.S, facilitated a…

10th June 2018

Dr Laura King - guest blog

Remembering the dead – stories from the last centuryby Dr Laura King The things we keep and places that become special when someone dies have a sense of permanence: objects last longer than we do, and whilst places may change, they remain thereforever. This can provide some comfort – everyone dies eventually, but our and our loved ones’ memories can live on. Whether a gravestone or the site of scattered ashes, or a favourite pub or a street where someone lived, anchoring our memories of someone who has died in a sense of place is a useful to us.Families have long…

17th February 2018

Memories From Swansea

For the last week I have been fully immersed in Swansea. New city, new landscape, new vocabulary and new collaboration. I've been mentoring artist Stephen Donnelly on his project Sore Thumbs.At first I was excited to be swept along with the tide from shopping centre to seaside, from the market to a primary school in Lougha. And now, a week in I have got my sea legs and am able to navigate the waters, and steer the course (politely of course).It has been a joy to hear Steve’s memories, to bear witness to his experiences; finding shared points of reference…

29th June 2017

Catching our breath and a thank you

Wow. It's been almost six weeks since our Unfair was stolen. So much has happened in the world and for Team Grief, it's still a little hard to believe. We wanted to say a massive THANK YOU to everyone who sent words of support and shared our call out, and give extra big sloppy kisses to all who donated to our Crowdfunder to rebuild what we lost. We've been so overwhelmed by your generosity. Thank you so much.The last thing we want is to let the theft of The Unfair throw our other projects off schedule. We’re currently full steam…

3rd May 2017

Prepping The Unfair

Well we’ve started prep for The Unfair and from the moment I got a whiff of popcorn and saw Bethany cracking open the gloss paint I fell in love with the project all over again. I’m so very lucky to be working with such an amazing team: Bethany Wells, Matt Sykes Hooban, Adam Young and Jess Sweet. Handpainted signs are being polished and tweaked, Tea has been bought from the amazing Teapot Stall in Leeds Market and we are reinforcing the Colossus punch bag for you to take your frustrations out on. And there is plenty to be angry about…

17th April 2017

Helen Russell Brown - guest blog

Eating Feelings by Helen Russell BrownHaving watched my best friend care for her mother as she suffered from terminal illness, when the time came to honour her memory last summer I did what I know best; I baked a cake. Earl Grey and Lavender cake to remember Steph; to treasure her elegance, warmth, and feminine grace. Cake was requested from all visitors to the wake as a celebration of the sweetest joys in life at a time when all felt lost. Tables heaved with sticky delights dripping in syrup, adorned with flowers and fresh fruit, or glistening with thick chocolate…

20th March 2017

Cake, death and having faith

So after 18 months of research, of conversations, of illustrations and proof reads, of making up decks of cards and putting together boxes, we launched The Crossing at Live Art Bistro last week. I admit I was nervous for our launch. Matthew and I have spent time speaking to celebrants from different faith perspectives, funeral directors, florists, caterers, and people from different buildings around the city. It is one thing to visit people in the heart of their own community but whether they will make the effort to trudge down Regent Street on a gloomy Thursday afternoon, looking for the…

8th March 2017

Fergus Dunnet - guest blog

lIlustrating The Crossing by Fergus Dunnet Over the past year, while I've been drawing cardboard coffins and cold buffets, funeral directors, rabbis, monumental masons, caterers, viking urns, floral wreaths, mushroom suits, heart-shaped gravestones, teddy bear ash-holders, bicycle hearses, pubs, crematoriums and eco burial sites, I have come to see funerals, and death in a completely new light. A funeral can be a really meaningful and helpful event at a difficult time. It is the celebration of a life, for the people who live on after that life has ended. And the illustrations for The Crossing have come to reflect that…