JOURNEY WITH ABSENT FRIENDS
A mobile museum of grief housed inside a vintage caravan
Journey with Absent Friends is an installation inside a vintage caravan, with artworks hidden in every cupboard, drawer, nook and cranny. It collects stories from the public on its travels, about people we have loved and lost.
Members of the public are invited to explore at their own pace, alone or with company. We invite them to add their own memories to our audio archive and embroidered maps. They can fill out a recipe card and open any draw they fancy - the caravan rewards the curious. Outside the caravan there are suitcases to explore of ‘emotional baggage’, our micro grief library and a giant Connect Four.
There are tissues and experienced facilitators on hand to guide the audience experience or just chat about the weather.
We built the caravan to answer the question: Where do our memories of the dead live?
Is it in sacred spaces like gravestones, or aisle 22 of Tescos? Or even on someone’s Facebook page or Twitter feed?
Ellie went on a month-long journey to find out. Travelling between sites of personal remembrance, we stopped at arts centres, museums, beer gardens and even the occasional service station. The journey was punctuated with meal events combining beautiful design, great food and immersive performance plus the chance to remember someone you have lost.
You can find out more about Ellie's trip in our interactive map 'Explore the Journey'.
Ellie Harrison: Lead Artist
Jessica Sweet: Producer
Anna Turzynski: Producer
Bethany Wells: Designer
Matt Sykes-Hooban: Build Manager
Hayley Mills-Styles: Thread Artist
Jaye Kearney: Marketing & Consultancy
Matt Rogers: Out-side Eye & Documentation
Laura King: Historian
Stephen Donnlley, Laura Mugridge, Louise Mothersole: Postal Collaborators
Leann Young: Production Manager
Jess Hammett: Evaluator
Tom Woodland: Build Assistant
Christie Hill: Meal Consultant
The Swine that Dines: Chefs
Chris & Mel Dewey: Audio Archive Creators
Jazmine Krokback: Project Assistant
Journey With Absent Friends was made possible by Arts Council England, The University of Leeds, Arts and Humanities Research Council, Lighthouse Poole, ARC Stockton Arts Centre, City of Oxford College and Abbey House Museum and Cafe
The caravan, lovingly nicknamed "Perle", is currently available for touring to festivals, art centres and back gardens. Please get in touch via our contact page to find out more.
Images by Matt Rogers