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…

26th September 2016

Sylvia Causer - guest blog

I met Sylvia Causer in 2015 when she was studying on her Masters in fine art. She was subsequently part of Wrought Festival as one of the emerging artists and took part in my workshop on one to one performance. I've found it really interesting speaking to someone who integrates a clinical background into their art practice.Reflections on GriefI hear the familiar tone from my phone, a message in my inbox. It's from my best friend. Of late, her messages have become more frequent and filled with raw sadness, frustration and a deep longing as she negotiates the difficult path…

15th September 2016

Re-opening The 'trunk'

We've been working on some new photographs which have involved me and Jaye, digging through the Elephant's 'trunk' to find the artifacts that make up some of the experience of The Reservation. This, unsurprisingly, sparked conversations about all the times, and particularly the last time, we performed The Reservation: at Wrought Festival, Sheffield in April 2016.Jaye had some thoughts on that at the time and you can read them on her blog

26th May 2016

Live Art Archives

Tonight I’m presenting work at an immersive experience called Live Art Dining in Leeds. It's sold out but you can find out more hereThe environment is beautiful, witty and ambitious, it’s going to be a real feast for the senses and It’s taken nearly a week to install. And while there is a large and diverse team, it feels notable how many woman-hours have gone in to realise it: from designer Bethany Wells, Chef Jo from The Swine that dines, performances by Joely Fielding, facilitation by long term team grief member Jess Sweet and all of us led by the…

15th January 2016

Hands Off My Grief!

Well so far 2016 has been very eventful grief wise both in terms of celebrities, this week alone we’ve lost David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Celine Dion’s husband but also those…what do you call them…..normal people.A few people I know have lost close friends and family in the past few days and I’ve just been taking a minute to imagine how all of this Bowie/Rickman outpouring might be affecting them. It's complex.Despite my well documented scepticism about the whole Princess Diana thing, the one image that really stuck with my 14 year old self was the photographs of the young…