Ellie Harrison

Someone described me as an experiential expert in grief which was just a fancy way of saying I’ve lost a lot of people. The First funeral I ever went to was one that I organised. I was a teenager and the funeral was for my mum. I went in to planning it largely unaware of what I was ‘supposed’ to do and instead me and my sister focussed on what would express my mums life the best. It wasn’t until years later, having attended many other funerals, impersonal, off the peg and ill fitting that I realised how lucky we were. Beginners luck maybe, but I think making a ritual that was specific helped us a great deal. And so its perhaps no surprise that I started making The Grief Series. A series of arts 7 projects that create space for people to talk about death. Since 2010 the series has accumulated what I playfully call ‘Team Grief’ a community made up of artists, audiences, academics, clinicians….all different kinds of people and together we are redesigning the way we talk and think about death in a grass roots, DIY way. So far team grief have: • Dressed as elephants in Hotels • Created a nationally touring photography exhibition for empty houses in collaboration with fifty members of the public from 7 to 75 years old. • Built an angry Funfair called The Unfair for town squares, promenades and public spaces. • Prompted lads to ring their mums and turn over new leaves • Collaborated with Imams, Rabbi’s and Humanist Celebrants • Impersonated Leonardo Di Caprio • Eaten a lot of Jammy dodgers and drunk nearly 100 litres of port in the process As well as running The Grief Series I lecture on my practice, giving talks, performances and workshops at universities internationally including University of the Arts London, Sorbonne Paris and UAM Mexico City.

Events by this speaker


01nov17:1517:45E Harrison: Journey with Absent Friends17:15 - 17:45(GMT+00:00) View in my timeSession (Hopin)Event type:PresentationTopic:Rites & RitualsSession ID: :Session 4C