Art as Ritual Surrounding Death
The extraordinary circumstances of the pandemic have left us afraid, isolated and unable to connect with each other in traditional ways. Those who've suffered direct loss have been denied the support of community ordinarily obtained through rituals such as funerals.
This project offers ways to honor and grieve loved ones and yet also addresses our collective sense of loss and helplessness through art making and exploration, an important and available way to deal with the universal issue of death, especially now. Art-making has long helped humans reckon with death--and is even more vital in current times.
Our program addresses cultural, artistic, and practical responses to mortality and loss, including shadow losses resulting from the pandemic. We will explore artmaking as a means to grieve and commemorate our losses, using examples from deathcare practices and others that allow for creative expression. Program format will be a 2-hour interactive Zoom session. Using visuals and video, we will share experiences of ordinary folks uniquely adorning the vigil spaces and vessels of their departed loved ones.
Open to all mortals without discrimination, but content is targeted toward adults and older teenagers who have faced a recent loss as well as all of us who have faced grief and isolation as a result of the pandemic.
Presented by three members of the Natural Deathcare Collaborative and funded in part by grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.