Death on the High Street

This collaborative project, created by Pop Up Penzance, working with Cornwall Hospice Care has brought an opportunity to people to engage in conversations around death, a highly important subject that is common to everyone, but often unspoken of until it is too late.

With a colourful and deeply moving exhibition of local artists’ work based around death, some creative arts and writing workshops, drop-in lunchtime surgeries from funeral and legal experts as well as alternative DIY funeral planning, there has been plenty to discover and talk about for a week in the Pop Up shop. Two beautiful colourful and tender Mexican style ‘Ofrenda’s’ in the windows attracted the attention of young and old inviting people to take a break from their shopping and explore a much avoided subject. Many wonderful stories were shared, weights lifted, ideas floated, and wishes discussed. Two community engagement activities, a ‘Bucket list’ where you were encouraged to write yourself a pledge to do something important to you, or ‘It’s your funeral’ with coffin tags for last wishes to be considered and given up to the universe or for others to read. A Pop Up Death Choir with songs of dying and sadness as well as life and love brought an extra dimension on Saturday morning and finally a Death Cafe brought the week to a close with sincere and light hearted chat around a cup of tea and cake.

Cornwall Hospice Care brought expertise, humour, information and a wealth of knowledge around end of life care, not just hospices, but all aspects of care are offered by warm and wonderful people.