MA Art in Science
Amanda Kearns-Rulton’s research explores how our death and burial practices might be unsustainable and encourages people to talk openly about loss, current burial practices and available alternatives.
Resting Places for the Living
Imagine a world where death was discussed openly without the conversation being uncomfortable. A world where graveyards are inviting, colourful and a place you’d want to go to instead of places you rarely visit. This imagined world is a possibility as we navigate a more sustainable future for death care.
This project was established in an attempt to understand how damaging, if damaging at all, current funeral practices are and what exactly happens to the environment when you die. The future of death care in the UK is not clear but one thing that is clear, a move towards environmentally sustainable funerals would encourage healthier relationships with loss.
Public facing events, including spoken word or poetry performances facilitate conversations, and Amanda recently collaborated with Emma Summerscales and Liverpool LASER Talks to host events titled ‘Let’s Talk About a New Circle of Life’ for Being Human Festival 2021.
Further to this ‘Resting Places for the Living’ is a project working towards rewilding graveyards in a move towards positive grief experiences and sustainability in death care. ‘Memorial kits’ encourage you to plant your own memorial gardens using locally collected wildflower seeds from memorial mix seed packs, and also include seeded paper that can be illustrated upon and buried to grow specific wildflowers beneficial to the environment.
We cannot change the past of the death care industry but we can change the future. Simple changes to the landscapes of existing burial grounds could be a good place to start.
Image 1: Collecting the ‘Memorial Seed Mix’ from local Liverpool wildflower sites
Image 2: ‘Memorial Seed Mix’ contents
Image 3: Navigating grief through poetry
Image 4: Plantable seed paper
Image 5: ‘Let’s Talk About a New Circle of Life’ - Being Human Festival 2021 Event
Image 6: ‘Graveyards of Tomorrow’ at the ‘Let’s Talk About a New Circle of Life’ Being Human Festival 2021 Event
Image 7: ‘Graveyards of Tomorrow’ at the ‘Let’s Talk About a New Circle of Life’ Being Human Festival 2021 Event