Day of the Dead
In Mexico, death is seen as a part of life. Once a year, according to popular belief, the deceased have divine permission to visit friends and relatives on earth.
On 1 and 2 November (All Saints’ and All Souls’), families welcome the souls with flowers, incense, candles, and offerings of food and drink. These festivities are a focus for many arts and crafts.
Makeshift stalls in markets sell colourful sugar skulls and ingenious toys shaped like skulls and skeletons. In Mexico City, members of the celebrated Linares family use papier mâché to caricature the activities of everyday life: street vendors, revolutionaries and fire-eaters are shown in the guise of skeletons.
Chloe has been researching the traditions of Latin America since 1973. A Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute, she has carried out fieldwork in Mexico and Belize, curated exhibitions, and assisted on TV documentaries for BBC and Channel 4. She has published articles in newspapers, magazines and travel guides and her many books include Mexican Textiles, Arts and Crafts of Mexico, The Incas - The Ancient World, Traditional Mexican Architecture and Masks Arts of Mexico.
Live music from Mariachi Loco UK
To add an extra dimension, in keeping with the Mexican theme, there will be a performance from the authentic mariachi band Mariachi Loco UK, who will be performing at 6.15. Combining the best traditional mexican folk music (better known world wide as "Mariachi") with some unique takes on UK classic pop tracks. Get a flavour here on Soundcloud:
Art to view and buy from Juan is Dead
There will be an exhibition of art and the opportunity to buy from Juan Is Dead, a world where you can find collectables from the afterlife.
Leah Reeves studied Fine Art at Nottingham University and worked for several years in fashion and advertising. After discovering mosaic quite by chance, she fell in love with the medium and uses mosaic to create contemporary one-off pieces of art and illustrations. Her love of mischief and otherworldliness is influenced by her Spanish ancestry and the Mexican celebration Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead.
The characters from Juan is Dead paint the afterlife as one hell of a party, they enjoy everything from their living life, but without guilt, hangovers, constraints or worry.
"They're wall art, but also sculpture, the light reflects off each hand-cut piece and when you hold one, you know you're in possession of something special."