Rankin And Royal London Tackle The Taboo Of Death

Opening up the must conversation of death in online exhibition Lost for Words.


British portrait and fashion photographer Rankin and the financial service mutual Royal London have come together in a collaboration to open up the conversation around loss, in Lost for Words a free digital exhibition which launched on 16th November 2020.

Throughout these uncertain and unpredictable times, we have seemingly become numb to daily death counts and related data. Death is ostensibly at the forefront of the world. Though such disassociation dismisses the painful realities of losing a loved one, grief has a far heavier impact than adding a few more digits to the numbers reported in the news. This exhibition aims to stimulate a necessary dialogue surrounding bereavement in honour of those lost. Rankin sates “What if ‘the conversation’ wasn’t so difficult? What if it was easier, reassuring, funny, joyful? What if it, conjured memories of a full and happy life, rather than existential panic? It’s time to change the narrative.” 


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Lost for Words is a mobile digital exhibition, shot by Rankin. The series consists of numerous photographs of people superimposed next to images of loved ones that they have lost, uniting the departed and those left behind. It also includes an interview series and short film discussing the importance of talking about death and planning for the inevitable. Whilst art galleries will remain closed for at least the next month or so, Lost for Words provides an artistic setting with a beautiful sentiment, one I encourage all to dive into.

Barry O’Dwyer, Group Chief Executive Officer of Royal London, states “Thinking about death triggers an insight into grief for many people, and it’s understandable why many of us are reluctant to go there. But at Royal London, we see the massively helpful impact making financial plans can have on those who are left behind. It can be the difference between a whole family coping financially or struggling for years".

The exhibition is available from November 16th on lostforwords.royallondon.com.  A live Q&A event will be hosted by Andrea Fox with Royal London, Rankin and a special question on November 25th. Subscribed guests can submit a question ahead of the event, and further details can be found online. Indulge in a little photography. I am. You should too.

Up Next, Feast Your Eyes on Photo London Digital 2020.