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Brief Published: 10 May 2021

Joyful Urns Celebrate Life & Improve Experience of Death

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John Booth for Farewill

As explored in Death in the Next Decade, more positive attitudes to mortality are giving rise to a new era of funerary products. London-based artist John Booth is helping to redesign our approach to death with his collection of joyfully decorated urns.

The series of five stoneware cremation urns has been conceived for UK will-writing start-up Farewill, as part of a dialogue set on bringing more creativity and personality to end-of-life rituals.

Booth advocates the use of art and the positive power of colour to make death more approachable and to bring joy to how we are commemorated. Read Covid-19 Colour Response for more on psychological colour.  

Hand-painted with bold floral patterns in uplifting hues, his slip-built urns are intended to reflect the vibrancy of life. Three-dimensional decorative handles and lids, from which owners can display flowers, allow for extra personalisation, all-in-all, creating an optimistic and celebratory keepsake that can be treasured and displayed.

Farewill is offering up the five urns on its website to those they resonate with – people just have to apply online.

For an industry traditionally devoid of creativity and choice, this collaboration highlights the opportunity in more meaningful, expressive and unconventional design for end-of-life services and products. For more new approaches, see Reframing Death and The Death-Positive Movement.

Creative self-expression – and its influence on decorative aesthetics – is a theme we’ve been tracking recently. See our A/W 22/23 Colour & Material Direction Verve for visual inspiration.

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