I'm a Graphic Design Student at Camberwell College of Art London, currently in my final term of my final year. I have been studying the theme of death and dying this year, which may sound strange, however my work has never had a morbid approach. I have worked on a number of projects this year that have been aimed at trying to encourage people to engage more with the the subject, opening discussions and promoting education and conversation.
Including working closely with artist Sam Winston on 'Birthday' an installation at Southbank Centres, Festival of Death in January.
The project I am currently working on requires me to have informal conversations with people with life limiting illness about their favourite stories. Having had contact personally with hospices and end of life care facilities in the past, I was somewhat prepared for regulations that may limit my access to these facilities. This has been the case and it has been hard to contact more than a few potential participants so far. My heart is truly in this project and I believe it would be a shame to abandon it as I'm sure there are people who may be interested in taking part, it's just a question of finding you.
Below is some more information about what I'm planning:
Language is something everyone can engage with especially stories, particularly bedtime stories are a universally understood concept. They are used as a tool for comfort and relaxation before sleep. As children we have bedtime stories read to us and as adults we read them to ourselves. Traditional stories may be replaced with prayers, poems or notations of the days events in a diary. Whatever the outlet, language in any form can offer comfort, relaxation or evoke strong memories.
The focus of this work is in no way illness, but the stories and pieces of text participants choose as their favourites.
For people who view my work I am attempting to remove the fear and uncomfortable attitudes that surrounds the notion of dying in our society by portraying the people I speak to using something everyone can relate to, having a favourite story, poem, prayer, etc.
I think there is a subtle poignancy in in the contrast between how comfortable a favourite story, poem or prayer can make you feel and the stereotypical uncomfortable reaction to the subject of death and dying in Western Culture.
I have a limited time frame for this project, but please let me know if you (or anyone you know) have any interest in hearing more about the work and maybe taking part. I live in London and I'm more than happy to travel, alternatively we could converse by email.