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The Grief Series Presents All That Lives 1 – 11 May 2019


The Grief Series


All That Lives

1 – 11 May 2019 (Bradford and Leeds) Part 7 of a series.


Uniting Leeds and Mexico for a food and art-based celebration of those loved and lost.

Do you have someone special to remember and commemorate? Whether it’s David Bowie or your grandmother… The Grief Series asks people to contribute memories and offerings to Ofrendasshrines inspired by a Mexican tradition in Leeds and Bradford until’ Saturday May 11.

To celebrate Day of the Dead in Mexico, people build ‘Ofrenda shrines to remember friends, family and people of significance. Ofrendas are usually brightly coloured and include tiered tables filled with photographs, flowers, candles, food and significant objects. They can be built in homes, schools, places of work, bars and public squares.


Over the past two years, Leeds artist Ellie Harrison has travelled to Mexico to research this tradition, exploring a culture honouring death as a part of life and establishing rituals for reconnecting with grief. Now she invites a group of artists from Mexico to Leeds for All That Lives, The Grief Series Chapter 7 where they will build Ofrendas together. The public can see and contribute to these colourful sculptures at the Merrion Centre in Leeds following a three day installation at Cecil Green Arts in Bradford.

The Faro in Mexico is an art centre where the visiting artists regularly work with diverse and sometimes marginalised people using classic Mexican styles and techniques to realise traditions often surrounding Day of the Dead. All That Lives, although focusing on grief and loss, is about sharing, reflection and the creation of beautiful spaces. This is all happening next week and the Leeds location takes over an empty shop unit in the Merrion Centre, just opposite the area where the Stick and Twist pub once stood.

“There are loads of different ways to get involved, you can come down and see our big Ofrenda (shrine to honour people and things we’ve lost) or make your own mini version” say the organisers “You can come see what big scale sculpture Team Faro are working on, work on you own craft to add to our collection or contribute a recipe to our collections.”

“We’re also having a meal on the Friday to celebrate this project and invite people into one of out favourite aspects of what brings us together: Food! We are making a menu that celebrates the things about our two very different cuisines that bring us a bit closer together… and of course a mescal!”

The Mexican artists are Marco Medina, Magnolia Gonzalez, Jonathan Perez, and Christian Cruz. They are now in Bradford prior to Leeds, working with groups and the public to build the Ofrendas. People can add to artworks at any time by bringing photos of heroes, ancestors or loved ones. They also have an opportunity to offer food, drink or flowers. Equally, people can feel free to sit back and get thoroughly immersed in the whole experience.

This residency culminates in a meal, as part of Leeds International Festival; bringing Day of the Dead colour and music to Leeds, whatever the weather, The Feast is a chance to eat great food, chat to international artists, celebrate, commemorate and share.


      All That Lives:Bradford Ofrenda Building 1st – 3rd May 12-6pm Cecil Green Arts, 28-30 Darley Street, Bradford, West Yorkshire BD1 3HH12:00- 18:00. FREE and DROP IN .

      All That Lives: Leeds Ofrenda Building and Installation at Unit 6, Merrion Way, Leeds LS2 8NG  6 – 11 May (closed on the 8th), 10:00 – 18:00. FREE and DROP IN.

      All That Lives, Feasts: Meal at Merrion Centre, Leeds – Friday 10 May, 18:30 – 20:30 – TICKETS via leedsinternationalfestival.com

The Grief Series is a sequence of projects using a seven-stage grief model from psychology as a starting point. Each instalment has been a collaboration with artists working in a different medium. All That Lives continues the journey towards the seventh and final part of the series.

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