The A Graceful Death Exhibition and Project by Antonia Rolls is about what it means to die. Portraits, paintings and words from the end of life. Powerful, moving, loving, uplifting, inspiring. The A Graceful Death Project includes talks, presentations, discussions, events connected to awareness raising of end of life issues. The latest news, exhibitions, events and developments will be available here.
Sunday 23 January 2011
A Graceful Death In Manchester, Filming And Exhibiting
A Graceful Death In Manchester, Both Exhibition And Filming In Process
St Nicholas Church, 408 Kingsway, Burnage, Manchester M19 1PL
From Saturday 19 February to Friday 25 February
In the Church
Sunday to Friday open from 12 - 1 pm and from 7 - 8pm
All other viewings happily supplied via appointment through Rachel on 0161 432 7009
OPENING NIGHT SAT 19 FEB FROM 6PM - 9PM
CLOSING NIGHT PARTY FRIDAY 25 FEBRUARY FROM 7PM - 9PM
With huge thanks to the Reverend Rachel Mann for this showing of A Graceful Death in Manchester. Rachel has offered her church, St Nicholas in Burnage, for the paintings and poetry to be shown for a week. The details are above, and everyone is welcome. There is the Opening Night Party and the Closing Night Party to which you are warmly invited.
It will be the first time A Graceful Death is shown in a church. The paintings are full of love and compassion, which will be enhanced by the atmosphere of a church. Many of us feel there is a spiritual dimension to our experience of bereavement, and many believe that our dying loved ones go straight into the presence of God. Showing the paintings and poetry inside a church, where they are visible during services and to the public during the times the church is open, gives a comforting extra dimension to the effect of the A Graceful Death exhibition.
Dying and Death in Religious Art is an old theme. There are many very moving paintings and sculptures of the crucifixion of Christ. There are representations of the deposition - Christ taken down from the cross and held in his grieving mother's arms - and there are paintings of the entombment of Christ. For example, look at Matthias Grunewald's disturbing Crucifixion 1510-1515, from the Eisenheim Altarpiece. How painful and distressing is that? As a child of about 6, I was shown a Giovanni Bellini deposition of Christ, which seems to be called Dead Christ Supported by Two Angels - except that the figure on the left is definitely his mother. This painting changed my life. I had only seen pretty pictures before and the power of this painting made me aware, in my little mind, that life was bigger than I had thought. It has remained one of my most wonderful childhood memories. And see Mantegna's Entombment of Christ, in the Brera Gallery in Milan, for a stark image of a dead body. Painted in around 1500, it is a very stark image.
At this exhibition, Neill will begin his filming of the documentary of A Graceful Death, and will be quietly showing the paintings in situ, the reactions of those who are seeing them, and how the whole A Graceful Death works.
Eileen Rafferty, my dear photographer friend, will be photographing the entire exhibition experience too. We are writing a book on the paintings and on the story behind it. Eileen will be photographing Neill filming, at some point too, which will be interesting.
Please come to see the exhibition. It is profoundly moving and profoundly hopeful. It is loving and it is raw. Come and join us at the Opening and the Closing Night Parties. I look forward to meeting you all.