ARRIVALS+DEPARTURES is an interactive installation exploring birth, death and the journey in between. Taking the recognisable form of a station or airport arrivals and departures board, the artwork invites the public to share the names of people who have arrived and departed as a way to celebrate a birth or commemorate a death.
As the effects of Covid-19, racial injustice and the environmental crisis continue to disrupt communities across the world, this artwork offers a timely platform to explore issues around birth, life, death, loss, and collective grief; alongside racial and social justice, to question and change who is honoured through public statues and memorials.
Located in different outdoor and sometimes indoor public spaces, these nostalgic analogue display boards reflect the magnitude of sharing a name. As the public submit names via this online portal, each named person is given a presence as it appears on the mechanical flip dot screens – a stark contrast to the fleeting nature of digital LED signs and the instant nature of social media.
Accompanying the boards is an integral programme of events, talks and workshops that explore a range of issues associated with commemorating new life, honouring the living, acknowledging our own mortality, bringing attention to death, and tending to grief and loss; subjects that need to be spoken about more to help us live well.
A bespoke programme is developed for each presentation depending on context and resources making connections with a variety of experts and people from across communities including celebrants, midwives, ministers and florists to opera singers, choirs, pregnant people and care-home workers and residents.
Premiered at Somerset House, London in Autumn 2020, ARRIVALS+DEPARTURES is currently touring both in the UK and internationally. See Programme for more details.