Your Life in Our Hands: Memento Mori Talking Circle with Liz O'Reilly and Sonja Karl

when we hold the objects of our loved ones in our hands we possess the power to tell their story

After someone dies, amidst the grief and mourning, there is always a unique collection of objects left behind – a person’s belongings.  We the living, inherit these possessions and some of them, sometimes all of them, become ours - mementos of our connection to the person no longer here.

your life in our hands is an intimate talking circle for expressing stories of our loved ones and remembering them through the showing of one of their possessions.  Participants are invited to bring with them a ‘death’ or ‘memory’ object that is meaningful to them and that fits easily into their hands. Led by artists Sonja Karl and Liz O’Reilly, your life in our hands refers to the act of holding an object in our hands that evokes another’s life, as well as the level of trust we imbue the circle with.

At each workshop and only if you wish, the artists will take a photograph of the object in your hands which they will send to you as a memento of the talking circle.   You also have the opportunity for this image to become part of a projected installation at the festival’s closing ceremony.

about Sonja and liz

Artists Sonja Karl and Liz O’Reilly have been investigating memento mori or as they like to call them, death objects, in their individual and collaborative art practices over the last five years.  Together they have held many memento mori talking circles with people from diverse life experiences who have amazing stories to tell. 

Both Sonja and Liz are current and past participants in Hidden, Rookwood Cemetery’s Sculpture Prize.  Their collaborative residency Common Fate culminated in an exhibition of process and performance at Articulate Project Space, Leichhardt early in 2018. 

Further research into expressions of ‘memento mori’ and ‘common fate’ will take place February 2019 when Sonja and Liz embark upon a residency and collaborative exhibition at Ignite studios through Northern Rivers Community Gallery, Ballina.