Empty city home becomes shrine to lost loved ones

Ellie Harrison
Ellie Harrison

A new exhibition brings an empty home in Lancaster to life with thought-provoking stories of people lost, objects gained and the memories left behind.

What is Left?, an intimate exhibition of photographic portraits – including people from Lancaster – will premiere in the city on May 19 before embarking on a national tour.

The exhibition features a selection of the 50 portraits taken as part of the national body of work, and explores how a loved one who has died is remembered through an object they have left behind.

Leeds based performance artist Ellie Harrison, whose portrait also features in the exhibition holding a pair of leather gloves inherited from her mum, said: “One thing that really struck me working with people from all walks of life was how glad they were to have the opportunity to talk about their loved ones, as so often people experiencing grief seem to worry about making those around them feel awkward by talking about someone who has died.

“Everyone involved seemed to enjoy the experience of picking an item to represent the person they had lost.”

The series of photographs, exhibited in a small empty cottage at 1 Thurnham Mews, depicts people from a wide range of ages and backgrounds holding a meaningful object inherited from a lost loved one.

The exhibition is a collaboration between Ellie and photographer, Roshana Rubin-Mayhew, who visited each participant at home to capture their stories in their own surroundings. The pictures are brought to life by an audio interview and a transcript booklet of their story.

What is Left? in Lancaster is sponsored by and delivered in partnership with Lancaster Property Management Network, Live at LICA, Lancaster University and Lancashire County Council.

The opening times for the exhibition will be Tuesday to Friday, 4pm – 8pm and Saturday and Sunday, 4pm to 7pm.