Words to Grieve: Definitions, Digital posters, 2021

Words to Grieve: Definitions (2021) is the first part of a project by Chris Alton and Emily Simpson, regarding the English vocabulary for grief.

Vocabulary informs the parameters of our thoughts, expression, and communication; and cultures typically have wide vocabularies for that which they deem to be significant. When Chris and Emily were both bereaved in early 2016, they each found the English vocabulary regarding grief to be lacking. This lack is due – in part – to a wider cultural distancing from death.

As the first stage of this project, Chris and Emily have held conversations regarding vocabulary and grief, with a view to creating new words. They have produced 6 posters that gesture towards the creation of new words; definitions come into focus and annotations provide glimpses of the surrounding conversations, thought processes, and word roots. The intention is to give a sense of work in progress. In the future, they hope to collaborate with linguists to forge words that express these concepts.

For more information, an interview, and to download the posters, click here.

Manchester artists unveil bold new works, Alan Brown, About Manchester, 11/11/2021

In collaboration with:
Emily Simpson

With thanks to:
Adam Szabo, Chief Executive, Manchester Collective
Steph Clarke, Creative Producer, Manchester Collective

Commissioned by:
Manchester Collective

Supported by:
The Granada Foundation