‘Memories are made of this…’
Reflections on grief, mourning, loss, memorials, the public and the private.
Research including personal reflections, cultural representations and experience, psychological, philosophical and scientific discourse.
A phone video of my brother Paul’s natural burial site at Gloucester cemetery. This song reminds me of him as it used to be played a lot on the radio when we were children and he really liked it. I thought that it fitted perfectly with the lovely spring day this year when I visited his grave with the cherry tree in front. This video will form part of a multi media installation/performance that is in the early stages of development.
As the family member designated to organise his funeral, I decided that the best option true to his gentle personality and anti capitalist views was to have a natural burial.
Please see the link below about natural burial at Gloucester Cemetery
Paul died two years ago at the age of 51 as a result of alcohol and drug abuse. I am of the belief that he never really got over my dad’s suicide 29 years ago and that his death was, in fact, a slow suicide.
I hadn’t seen Paul physically for two years before I found out that he had been taken into hospital in Cheltenham and that he only had about 24 hours to live. His mental health had deteriorated to the point where he wouldn’t visit any family members and he wouldn’t let anyone into his flat. Consequently after he died and when I was able to get into his flat it was a shock to see how he had been living. Some of the photos I will include in the installation were taken on my phone as I cleared the flat of his few belongings.
Some issues that I will be addressing in this project include
- A funeral in connection with global, environmental and political issues and grief.
- How we connect with the world – a mobile phone is manufactured with considerable environmental /political/social cost but allows us to share aspects of our lives (and death) with many others.
- The language used around death.
- Death as a commodity.
- Memory and memorials.
- The different ways that I have tried to connect with Paul in life and death.
- How music connects with visual imagery, emotion and memory.
I will be posting further information and links about the project as it progresses.