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Madre Celestial




Exhibition Type:

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Saturday, 10 June 2023 to Monday, 10 July 2023
Saturday, 10 June 2023 - 11:45am to 8:45pm

Madre Celestial
Mexican roadside shrines at Crossbones Graveyard

Opening Event

Bankside Open Spaces Festival
Date: 10th June
Time: 12 noon – 9pm
Location: Crossbones Graveyard, Union Street, SE1 1SD

Exhibition details:

Dates: 10th June – 10th July 2023
Location: Crossbones Graveyard, Union Street, SE1 1SD
Opening times: Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays 12-2pm
Please note Crossbones Graveyard is opened and run by volunteer wardens, so times may vary.

Entry is free.


About Madre Celestial project:

Shrines voice a deeply human need for beauty, symbols and ritual in the everyday.

Like the tributes left to the anonymous dead at Crossbones Graveyard, they are both communal and deeply personal creations, made by people’s own hands. They crop up spontaneously in places charged with meaning, manifesting unspoken feelings - of hope, fear, grief or gratitude.

Assembled from commonplace materials like paper chains, ribbons and plastic flowers, mundane items are deliberately arranged to connect to a mystical world. Shrines form a bridge between the realms of the living and the dead: becoming a place of remembrance and connection.

Built by many hands, street altars contain a spectrum of varying beliefs in a riot of colour and texture: vibrant expressions of pop creativity, spirituality and folk culture.

About Crossbones Graveyard:

A quiet garden with an extraordinary history. This post mediaeval burial ground is believed to be the last resting place of an estimated 15,000 people, many of whom were sex workers and children. The garden, led by local people, is designed to respect the outcast dead who are buried beneath. It provides a sensitive, contemplative environment for all who would spend time here.

Now a garden of remembrance, managed by Bankside Open Spaces Trust in partnership with Friends of Crossbones.

About Foxtrot Lightning:

Foxtrot Lightning is the name for creative projects by Sophie Polyviou, photographer and artist based in London.

More information at

Artist ( Description ): 

Foxtrot Lightning is the name for creative projects by Sophie Polyviou, photographer and artist based in London.

Venue ( Address ): 

Union Street, London SE1 1SD

Other events from Sophie Polyviou

Madre Celestial
06/10/2023 to 07/10/2023

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