Jan 24 – Jan 25 2020

MOTH have been invited to deliver a keynote in Toronto, Canada!

‘Dying.dialogues’ is a mini-symposium on design for end of life running in conjunction with DesignTO, with collaborators from the Health Design Studio at OCADU and Taboo Health. Dying.dialogues invites participants to share and reflect on design practice as it relates to the process of end of life. The symposium will engage across multiple domains, including – designers, artists, scholars, health care practitioners and the wider public. These dialogues are an opportunity to engage with diverse perspectives and participate in open conversations about death, dying and design.

MOTH are privileged to be taking part in this years:
‘ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival’ in Finland

The 18th edition of ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival will take place between 10th and 15th September 2019. Internationally celebrated, award-winning artists from around the world will once again present their projects in Kuopio.

The theme and focus for the 18th edition of ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival is death. The programme traces various iterations of death in an attempt to open-up thinking around our relationship to it and to the many sets of phenomena that surround it. Ideas die, eras end, materials become obsolete, things break, technology supersedes itself, places are abandoned, the natural world is destroyed, social and political ideals are overthrown, and plant, animal and human life is finite.

Artistic directors Johanna Tuukkanen and Gregg Whelan are looking forward to this year’s festival:

“We’re surprised it’s taken us 18 years to get here. Ideas of death, its impact, its social and cultural standing, its place in human life, its place in all life, has been one of the key drivers behind artistic practice for centuries.

So how does contemporary art speak to this most contemporary, and ageless, presence in our lives? That’s the central question driving ANTI’s 2019 programme; what new practice, what new experience, new knowledge and new joy can we locate in thinking about and working about death?”

MOTH has contributed a project titled:
In The Face of Death / The Art of Dying.
30 Memento Mori vinyl images will be place in shop windows around the city centre of Kuopio – reminding us to live life well – to contemplate our relationship with death and what might happen to us, when the one inevitable event we plan for the least comes to visit?

In The Face of Death
Is a graphic system of symbols, creating meaningful and applied visual language. Initially exploring four immortality narratives as a vehicle to establish systems; Elixir; staying alive, life extension stories. Resurrection; life, death and rebirth, science, faith and fiction. Soul; the non-material part of the body that is ‘the real me’, and Legacy; cultural, genetic and meme. Opening windows for meaningful conversation, communication and connection with those around us that we love. To consider our life & death narratives and our own personal belief systems.

Photo: In the Face of Death.
Pekka Mäkinen.

In The Face of Death / The Art of Dying.
ANTI International Contemporary Art Festival
Kuopio, Finland.

In our most recent project – An Extra Place at the Table: Food and Funeral Feasting, examines how through food and funeral feasting rituals, the bereaved can be comforted in the knowledge that this life defining moment, which we typically prepare for the least, can feel purposeful and positive, empowering us to take control and create the best and most personal ‘goodbye’ for loved ones. Loss needs to be mourned, acceptance of sadness is a natural and necessary part of a maturing process, reducing stress, anxiety and depression in the surviving relatives.

There were three parts to the brief and at each stage of the project we worked alongside a writer, cultural historian and an experience designer.

01. Epitaph | With Anna Kiernan | Writer & Senior Lecturer in Writing at Falmouth University.

02. Publication | With Elsa Richardson | Cultural Historian, Chancellor’s Fellow in the History of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Strathclyde.

03. Death over Dinner Event | With Clare Hearn | Experience Design Lecturer, Cultural Management & Production at Falmouth University.

Moth will be delivering this project as a publication and conference paper at the University of Bath, Centre for Death & Society in September 2019, for the 14th International Conference on the social context of Death, Dying & Disposal.

Moth delivered a paper ‘Good Grief’ at the Death & Culture II Conference
University of York
September 2018
This biennial conference focuses on the impact of mortality on culture, and the ways in which the very fact of death has shaped human behaviour, evidenced through thought, action, production and expression. The conference, in its second iteration, seeks to continue engaging with the study of mortality as an academic enterprise, supported by evidence and framed by theoretical engagement.
Death & Culture Network


Good Grief

In our most recent project – Good Grief, we investigated the aesthetics of mortality through the conventions of Still Life: Collections, Classification & Curation, and Ars Moriendi:The Art of Dying (well) & Magical Thinking. How in a largely secular society can we be better equipped to discuss and facilitate bereavement?
To understand that the expression of grief and mourning is an essential process to help to heal and begin to seek personal resolution.

This project ran over a period of four weeks, across three briefs and was supported with presentations and lectures:
• Historical context around mourning and grief
• Societal issues and ethics
• Collective grief
• Aesthetic legacy and the commodification of death
We had the great pleasure to collaborate with Charlotte Heal and Michael Petry along with 20 second year undergraduate Graphic Design students.

Project_01. Collections, Classification & Curation
Start a Collection, archive & curate 20 objects in 2 days.

Project_02. A Still Life in 100 Objects
In collaboration with Michael Petry, we examined the aesthetics of the Still Life tradition and explored identity and legacy through collections, classification & curation of objects. We explored how objects have histories that shape us in particular ways and how during stages of our lives we continue to search for objects that we can experience as both within and outside the self.

Project_03. Ars Moriendi: The Art of Dying & Magical Thinking
Working with Charlotte Heal, we examined the potential benefits of engaging with the mourning process to externalise grief and to aid transition through bereavement. How design can create opportunities: services, products, platforms to re-consider conventions and future think how mourning, in (a largely secular) contemporary society can be made visual and have meaningful impact?

Good designers write: A Novel in 25 Words

Moth invites you to consider a narrative about your STUFF (a particular object/artefact/trinket) which shares a story with you (negligible or epic) and then submit it as a Novel in 25 Words. These Novels are exhibited along side the STUFF exhibition in the cabinets.


STUFF Collections 2018

The School of Communication Design at Falmouth University hosts the return of the STUFF Collections 2018, an exhibit of students personal collection of STUFF. This collection could be one which has been added to over time, bequeathed to them, multiples of objects accrued as a result of habitual buying, a chance encounter at a boot fair.
With STUFF we celebrate the tradition of The Cabinet of Curiosity, using objects and artefacts as triggers for hidden memory, exploring the micro/macro, construction and de-construction and a passion for ‘rejects’ and fragments.

STUFF Student Collections_2018
Collection_01 Friday 26 Jan. | James Cook | Pins and Corks | Sarah Lebaigue | Snow Globes | Alexander Francis | BMX Magazines

STUFF Staff Collections_2018
Collection_02 Friday 2 Feb. | Paul Merritt | Gundam | Steve Bond | The fullness of an empty box

STUFF Staff Collections_2018
Collection_03 Friday 9 Feb. | Rebecca James | Norman Richard James, born 3rd October 1917. My Grandpa. | Oona Tiirakari | Pink Panther & ABBA merchandise

MOTH is now on Instagram, check out our latest posts.

Design & Death: Four weeks / Four projects / 18 Students
Epitaphs MOTH
Nikki Salkeld & Ashley Rudolph
Discuss ideas regarding The Death of ‘something’ that you lament, or wish to extol the virtues of which are now lost or are in the process of being lost. It could be a music genre, a way of life, a product, service or brand, an ideology, an era, a relationship with an object…

Death Over Dinner
Food and Conversation

CONVERSATIONS Creating Choice in End of Life Care: Hope is Not a Plan
Dr Mark Taubert | Clinical Director / Consultant in Palliative Medicine
Velindre NHS Trust, Cardiff.
Those who had conversations with their loved ones have less decisional conflict, suggesting that the benefit of end of life conversations and advance care planning extends beyond respecting patients’ choices to also ameliorating the burden on patients’ loved ones.

Film Night: Afterlife Hirokazu Koreeda

And the Memory Fills All Space >> My Digital Future >> MY Digital Archive.
Jotta Studio | Ben James
Installation and experience design on an architectural scale together with emerging technologies to create narrative led environments for a range of commercial and cultural clients. A multi-disciplinary studio spanning competencies in architecture, design, film, fine art and games development, Jotta implements across physical, augmented and virtual environments.
Anna Kiernan | Senior lecturer in Writing at Falmouth University
Anna is also the creative and editorial director at Stranger Collective, and an artistic assessor for Arts Council England. Her books include Voices for Peace (Scribner, 2001: London; New York), Bit on the Side: Work, Sex, Love, Loss and Own Goals (Parthian, 2007) and a book about literary drinkers (Barnes and Noble, 2002). Anna’s first poetry book, Pick Me Up, with illustrations by Harriet Lee Merrion, was published in 2014 by Atlantic Press Books.

Visit to Falmouth Cemetery, guide to artists’ graves by Glyn Winchester from Falmouth Art Gallery‏.


Moth Design & Death +
The Studio Society

Students from the School of Communication Design were invited to exhibit their personal collection of STUFF. This collection could be one which has been added to over time, bequeathed to them, multiples of objects accrued as a result of habitual buying, a chance encounter at a boot fair.

Moth: design & death has been interested in working with staff and students instigating projects which encourage enquiry using objects and artefacts as triggers for hidden memory, micro/macro, parts and whole, constructing and de-constructing, a passion for ‘rejects’ and fragments. This projects extends into The Studio Society which seeks to promote opportunities for the community of the Graphic Design Course to share, comment and contribute to the course beyond the curriculum.

Over the next three weeks students will be sharing some of their collections, giving insight as to why they have this STUFF and what it means to them.

STUFF Student collections
Collection_01 Friday 20 Jan. | Jocelyn Affleck | Story Book

Collection_02 Friday 27 Jan. | Louise Osborne | Royal Memorabilia | Victoria Boyle | Black Cat & Socks | Chris Rees | Keyrings

Collection_03 Friday 3 Feb. | Su Lee | Eating Habits | Sylwia Cwieczek | Trophies | Ciaran Saward | Calendar of Blades


Collection_04 Friday 10 Feb. | Charlotte Skerratt | Lucy Carpenter | Bottles | Sea Glass | Armelinda Beqiraj | Imperfect Images

STUFF Staff collections
Collection_01 Friday 28 Oct. | Nikki Salkeld, Joseph Payne & Ashley Rudolph


Collection_02 Friday 04 Nov. | Lizzie Ridout & Dion Star 


Collection_03 Friday 11 Nov. | Bryan Clark & Andy Neal


Moth took part in the Leap Year Project, organised by the Graphic Design Studio Society.
Julius Caesar introduced Leap Years in the Roman Empire over 2000 years ago, giving us an additional day every four years on the 29th February. Students and staff on the BA(Hons) Graphic Design course took advantage of this extra day, by producing a set of four objects, which were displayed for the day in then Fox 4 Atrium.

Memento Mori
Remember that you are mortal
Thorn Handkerchief & Monograph Handkerchief Grave Stone, Falmouth Cemetery.
Memento Mori “Remember that you are mortal,” The idea of memento mori and its symbolism were rarely used in classical antiquity. Instead, the saying carpe diem, or “seize the day,” was popular, reminding people to “eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we shall die.” Memento mori developed with the growth of Christianity, which emphasized heaven, hell, and salvation of the soul in the afterlife. The imagery related to memento mori, serves to remind viewers of their own mortality.

Moth_leap_yr3  Moth_leap_yr04


Moth Talks_grey_A5
MOTH Talks: In the face of death – 8th January 2016
Fox 4 Lecture Theatre – 1.30pm-5pm
The School of Communication Design, Falmouth University
Guest Speakers:
Stephen Cave, Writer, critic and philosopher, Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization, 2013, Biteback
Prof. Tony Walter, Centre for Death and Society at the University of Bath, sociologist
Joseph Macleod, Designer, Closure Experiences

In the face of death

Exhibition accompanying the event: In the face of death
The School of Communication Design, Graphic Design Building Foyer
Private View 5pm – 8th January 2016

In a collaborative project between Falmouth University and Augsburg University of Applied Sciences, entitled In the face of death communication students were asked to design a graphic system of symbols, creating meaningful and applied visual language to print, artifacts, digital and social media platforms. It focused on ideas and beliefs at the end of life, (the moment at which we die) and the consequences of that. The project used four immortality narratives as a vehicle to establish systems; Elixir; staying alive, life extension stories. Resurrection; life, death and rebirth, science, faith and fiction. Soul; the non-material part of the body that is ‘the real me’, and Legacy; cultural, genetic and meme.

Partnership event:
Café Morte | The Falmouth School of Art
Exhibition: Lost for Words
An exhibition exploring creative responses to mortality, transience and ritual.

November 2015

Moth will be taking part in the Graphic Design Research Symposium – at Falmouth University
Renowned speakers from education, publishing and design practice will be discussing how research meets graphic design as an academic and professional discipline. Graphic Design research is understood from the perspectives of both critical practice and scholarship. What is the nature of graphic design research? How can we integrate research and teaching? How can we define audiences for research? How is research disseminated? What is the special relationship between graphic design research and publishing? These and many more questions will be raised and discussed in an open, participatory forum.

Great to see the event feature on Eye magazine’s blog: Fresh ideas, fresh air


June 2015
Nikki and Ashley delivered a paper, ‘In the face of Death’, at the CDAS Conference 2015 Death & its Futures.
The conference took place at the University of Bath, hosted by the Centre for Death & Society (CDAS)

In the face of D_01.008In the face of D_01.007


March / May 2015

In the face of Death.
Creation of a meaningful graphic system of symbols based on one of four immortality narratives with application to a personal »memento mori« artefact.

‘In the face of death’ project focuses on ideas and beliefs at the end of life and the consequences of that, using four immortality narratives, introduced by Stephen Cave: Elixir_staying alive, life extension stories, Resurrection_life, death and rebirth, science, faith and fiction The Soul_the non-material part of the body that is ‘the real me’ Legacy_cultural, genetic and meme. School of Life lecture

Collaborative project between:

Ashley Rudolph, Nicola Salkeld_Falmouth University
Prof. Stefan Bufler, Prof. Michael Wörgötter_Hochschule Augsburg University of Applied Sciences


May 2014
Memento Mori | Remember that you are mortal – Exhibition
Falmouth Art Gallery


Links: Falmouth University

Nikki & Ashley delivered a paper about MOTH – Design of Death 
at a conference in September 2013, held at Falmouth University
Malady and Mortality: Illness, Disease and Death in Literary and Visual Culture

Projects from 2014

Undead Type workshop
Typographic Anthropology, building a typeface from individual monumental characters. Collaborative team process.



Memento Mori project
Collaborative project between Fine Art and Graphic Design students working in pairs, responding creatively to mortality and how this is translated in visual terms.
Each pair will produce a Vanitas/memento mori. This could be in any medium, format or context. They will consider and discuss the relevance/irrelevance of the traditional metaphors and think about contemporary expressions of these through image, type/lettering, objects, places etc.
This project is in partnership with the Falmouth Art Gallery. 


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