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

14th February 2017

Interview with Ellie Harrison

On 14 January 2017, Ellie was interviewed by Tom Bailey for Arts and Minds. It's a great insight into The Grief Series, making space for conversations and in particular Part 5: The Crossing.You can read the whole interview on the Arts and Minds website

14th February 2017

Matthew Bellwood - guest blog

On Death and What Comes After by Matthew Bellwood“With the ancient Egyptian in all stations of life… there was a profound yearning for a good burial.”Howard Carter. The Tomb Of Tutankhamen. London: Excalibur Books, 1972What happens after you die is an important question – in spite of the fact that it’s one that none of us really knows the answer to. Religions the world over offer promises of continued existence, either in a metaphysical afterlife or through the transmigration of the soul into another material body. Many philosophical thinkers claim that death is the ultimate end andthat we live on

14th February 2017

Christie Hill - guest blog

Experiments on Food and GriefBy Christie HillEllie’s invited me round for dinner. We’re in her dining room eating Main Course. It’s an ice cream with a chocolate rimmed cone. Ellie’s telling me the story about her trip to Mattallan with her Mum, two weeks before she died, and how they’d sat in the car afterwards and shared an ice-cream together, in silence. It’s a heavy memory attached with so much personal emotion. It’s hard to know how to access it, how to begin to understand what that could feel like. I’ll never fully know, but with an ice cream in

14th February 2017

Little booklets. A blog in two parts

22/10/2016Yesterday was my mums birthday and at first the anniversaries didn’t really mean much. But yesterday on the 15th birthday she’s had since she died, I reflected on all the gifts she has given me over the years, even after her death. And it all feels like it links in to part 5 of The Grief Series.My mother had 3 weeks between her terminal diagnosis and her death. And whilst I felt cheated out of the six months the doctors said she had left, I was relieved that we didn’t have to suffer a long, drawn out decline. In those