. a book about death. wales.

A Book About Death, Wales.  Sonja Benskin Mesher RCA UA, Wales, curator.




It happens all our lives.


It happened in 2006, and struggling, drew on the small things.


The call for work for the original Book about Death via Matthew Rose came in 2009


Thinking I had nothing, put it aside. Quietly the involvement started, submitting a piece, ‘the empty chair’.


Carried on with work, to find the project became phenomena; I am now involved to curate, compile Wales’ unbound book, and become humbled by others’ work and stories.


Wales first showed ABAD, as it is known fondly known by participants, at MOMA in Macynlleth in 2010.  The Royal Cambrian Academy, Conwy, Wales  agreed to host the next chapter in September 2014.


I can tell you long and hard the logistics, put simply the phenomena lives and grows through death, the arts, the internet, through friends.


Ray Johnson, Matthew Rose, figureheads, as we prepared for ABAD’s 29th exhibition in the Royal Cambrian Academy 2014


The project is become The Book about living






This is the second time, I have curated the Book about  Death, Wales, yet cannot overcome my feelings for the project, humbling in its simplicity, the reactions from others, especially the artists, honest, generous, some bare all in their work. I have not experienced such a project that shares so much, asks so little, brings so much to the paricipants, the audience.


Kind of a first for the RCA Conwy who normally only show Academicians work, or juried exhibitions. Not often installing unframed.


Its is not all dark, some of the work  about Death, is quite beautiful. Some even funny, like the man who was buried wearing his new false teeth, ‘such a waste, hardly used’



david jones


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