Tora Kirchmeier


Around the turn of the last century, letters with messages about death were sent in envelopes edged in black, so-called mourning edges. My project is based on this tradition and the strange fact that death today is so invisible.

Throughout history, people have surrounded themselves with specific objects and worn special clothes in order to pay thoughtful attention to someone’s death. These visual manifestations of mourning were part of the collective consciousness. Most similar phenomena have now disappeared, and grief has become a private matter, not visible to the outside world.

My work is based on research on historical attitudes and visual traditions around death and grief in Sweden. Many of these were connected to the home thus my degree project centres around the home and borrows its idiom from the sad letter whose strong visual identity was unmistakably associated with death.

My goal has been to create a visual expression that highlights grief, with the hope of opening up to conversations and thoughts regarding death and its place in our society today. The result is an installation with specifically designed utensils. With everyday textiles edged in black, I let death and grief take on a physical form in the home and life.

Thanks to

Pia Kristoffersson

Klässbols Linneväveri

Ulla Kirchmeier

Katharina Lehmann

Torulf Wetterrot

Tora Kirchmeier