Matthew Williamson and Gillian Ayres celebrate Day of the Dead
Thursday 10 September 2009
Artwork by fashion designer Matthew Williamson, celebrated artist Gillian Ayres OBE and Magnum
photographer Martin Parr will feature in an exhibition celebrating the Mexican festival Dia de los Muertos this October to raise funds for learning disability charity Mencap.
The vibrant and emotive festival, also known as Day of the Dead, is an opportunity to remember their dead and celebrate life.
Mencap's Dia de los Muertos exhibition, which will be held at Proud gallery in Camden from 27 October to 1 November 2009, will also include artwork from other high-profile artists from across Europe.
At the heart of Mencap's exhibition are meticulously individually crafted altars and spiritual shrines built to show respect for and remember loved ones who have passed away.
The high-profile free exhibition will form part of a wider cultural arts festival organised by Mencap which will include a fancy dress Day of the Dead Ball featuring a live mariachi band, a Q&A session with specialist in Mexican popular culture Chloë Sayer
and a film screening of La Ofrenda by Lourdes Portillo - a documentary exploring the roots and current celebrations of Day of the Dead.
Mark Goldring, chief executive of learning disability charity Mencap, said: "The 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK are some of the most marginalised in our society. The funds we raise from Mencap's Day of the Dead events will help us continue our work directly supporting thousands of people to live their lives as they choose."
For more information please go to www.mencap.org.uk/dayofthedead or call 020 7696 5547.
Notes to editors
For more information or if you would like to attend the launch party and private view on 26 October between 6.30pm and 8.30pm please contact firstname.lastname@example.org / 020 7696 6017
- Mencap's Dia de los Muertos exhibition and cultural festival will be held at Proud Camden, The Stables Market, Chalk Farm Rd, London, NW1
- The exhibition will run from Tuesday 27 October to Sunday 1 November. Entrance free. Opening hours 11am - 5pm.
- Mencap's fancy dress Day of the Dead Ball will be held on Wednesday 28 October. Doors open at 7.30pm. Tickets £20.
- Q&A session with Chloe Sayer and film screen of La Ofrenda by Lourdes Portillo will take place on Thursday 29 October from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Tickets £12.
- Artwork from Mencap's Dia de los Muertos exhibition will be auctioned when the exhibition ends
- All funds from the events and auction will go to learning disability charity Mencap.
- Mencap works with people with a learning disability and their families and carers.
- 1.5 million people in the UK have a learning disability.
- A learning disability is caused by the way the brain develops before, during or shortly after birth. It is always lifelong.
- Learning disability affects someone's intellectual and social development all their life. People with a learning disability find it harder than others to learn, understand and communicate.
- People with a learning disability don't get an equal chance in life. Mencap fights to change laws and services and to provide better access to education, employment and leisure facilities, supporting thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want.
- It is not a mental illness and should not be confused with mental health issues. It is not dyslexia or Asperger's syndrome.
- It used to be called mental handicap but we don't use this term anymore because most people with a learning disability find it offensive.
- For information about learning disability issues please call the Learning Disability Helpline (England) on 0808 808 1111 or visit www.mencap.org.uk
About Day of the Dead
- Dia de los Muertos, also known as Day of the Dead, is a holiday celebrated in Mexico.
- The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family who have died.
- The celebration occurs on the 2 November
- Scholars trace the origins of the modern holiday to indigenous observances dating back thousands of years