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Ghost Stories


Fri, Jan 18, 2019 — Sun, Jan 20, 2019





Location Accessible

OCAD University

205 Richmond Street West

Daily Hours


1:00 pm

9:00 pm


1:00 pm

9:00 pm


1:00 pm

9:00 pm


‘Ghost Stories’ ​is a two-part collaboration between Kristi Poole-Adler and Ellen Snowball that offers a critical perspective on the liminal spaces of care and the grieving process. Kristi Poole-Adler’s piece, ​’Becoming Forgotten’, ​copes with the process of grieving a loved one who is still alive, a phenomenon described by psychoanalyst Pauline Boss as ​ambiguous loss​. Ambiguous loss relates to the experience of losing someone psychologically while their physical presence still remains. The imagery in ​’Becoming Forgotten’​ consists of ironed on t-shirt transfers onto multiple layers of found fabrics that would otherwise reside in a home environment, such as bed sheets, tablecloths, napkins, curtains, and handkerchiefs, all displayed in a cohesive, large scale mural on the wall. This work explores how to cope with ambiguous loss through the reclamation of memory by ritualistically collecting, editing, obscuring, and distorting images, through the use of embroidery, text, and family images.

Ellen Snowball’s work, ​’Room #237​’, is an interactive installation that replicates the surroundings of her mother’s nursing home room. Louise Snowball, Ellen’s mother, was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, and resided in a long-term care facility until her death in 2017. ​’Room #237’​ immerses visitors into a nursing home environment as a way to contemplate the ways in which the medical gaze operates against people suffering from dementia, within long-term care facilities. The piece invites visitors to explore the recreated nursing home room, discovering narrative clues within the installation from the life and death of Louise.

These two installations will be united through a collaborative conceptual foundation, as well in their similar aesthetic ties. Through sharing a collaborative space, these two pieces aim to create a multifaceted dialogue into the experience of losing someone to illness, both physically and psychologically. ​’Ghost Stories’​ encourages the spectator to critically expand upon death and dying experience as processes that are often complex and unresolved.

Series Description

We are all going to die, so why not talk about it? ‘Dying.’ an event series, explores death through the lens of design and art, running during the DesignTO Festival.

‘Dying.’ is in fact about living, living with the human experience of dying; What aren’t we talking about? What matters at end-of-life? Bringing together perspectives from families, caregivers, clinicians, and research to spark public conversation through community creation and interactive experiences. The series invites us to think about our relationship with death and dying as an individual, a member of a family, social network and as a human being in society. Let’s get comfortable with the uncomfortable and start talking about what truly matters.

‘Dying.’ presented by Taboo Health and OCAD University’s Design Studio, is taking place at four exhibits across three locations including public talks and hands on activities in Toronto, January 18-27, 2019.

‘Dying.’ Series
– Before I Die… – click here
– Constellations: Exploring the family experience of death & dying – click here
– Death and Dying Discussions – click here
– DIYing Free – click here
– Ghost Stories – click here
– Time Moving – Exhibition – click here
– Time Moving – Workshop – click here
– Until the Last Breath – click here

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Ellen Snowball, Kristi Poole-Adler