What Is Left?

What is Left is a participatory portraiture project and collaboration between Ellie Harrison, Roshana Rubin Mayhew and 50 members of the public


Ellie and Roshana go to participant’s homes and take a portrait of them with an object they have inherited from someone who has died. Ellie and Roshana interview them about their object and this recording forms an audio track. Portrait, audio, text and bespoke armchairs combine to create an immersive environment for the viewer.

Working with individuals, community groups and bereavement charities to take the portraits, What is Left? was exhibited in empty houses across the UK in 2014. The project explores the value we invest in these inherited possessions, both emotional and monetary, and the ways in which these objects mediate our relationships with the dead through memory.

*For current and upcoming chances to see What Is Left? go to the events page.**

Above you can find a few of our portraits from the lovely Portland. We would like to thank all of our participants from across the country for making us feel so welcome.

You can watch a short film, made about the What is Left? project, by media students at Teeside University here

Audience Feedback

My daughter loved it. She thought is was "interesting', "good" and "wanted to know all about the objects". It was this that she focussed on most and would quite happily have stayed to listen to all the stories, I am sure.

Even though the story I listened to completely wasn't particularly emotional, I became very emotional and reflected on my own grief through the eyes and words of the man in front of me. I've never been moved like that before in a gallery. It made me cry - a lot. Strange how you can love something that makes you cry that much, but I did.

Feedback from Audiences at Leeds Gallery (2012)