Fabiola Santana: A Place for Grief

Fabiola Santana: A Place for Grief


Join us for our new exhibition exploring grief in the beautiful, unused St. John's church in the Mill Race area in Lancaster.

The installation contains a collection of audio-visual artworks, featuring five quilted maps: these maps chart grief landscapes that we may find inside ourselves. This collection forms a space of warmth and reflection, where you are welcome to listen, to look, and offer your own experiences if you wish.


A Place for Grief explores the loss of others, but also touches on what it might mean to lose a connection to place. The Mill Race area has lost connections to its past identity. Many buildings lie derelict (some damaged by recent floods), carparks exist where housing once was, and there are few places to gather or assemble. It has the feeling of a throughway, as the city's one way system cuts across it.

How can we grieve this lost part of the city, and reimagine it for our future? In what ways does our encounter with these places offer new opportunities to reflect on grief, disconnection, and memory? This is particularly resonant given the horrors and loss resulting from current global conflicts.

Big and important ideas beautifully, gently and challengingly explored.

Audience response

Please note: The main part of this installation involves climbing two steps into the chancel.  Another part of the installation involves climbing four steps into the pulpit.  However, much of the visual material and audio can be experienced at floor level. Just let the invigilators know how they can facilitate you.


In 2018 and 2019, Fabiola Santana undertook a commission with Lancaster Arts called A Home for Grief, a body of work funded by Lancaster Arts and the national Diverse Actions programme. Fabiola's project focused on Lancaster and its residents through the lens of women and grief and took place in Lancaster city and in the Cottage Museum in Lancaster. It has since toured the North West. Download an evaluation project by Dr. Sandra Varey, exploring audiences' experience of the work. In 2021 Fabiola launched her permanent sound walk for Lancaster, A Walk for Grief, which you can also participate in.

A Home for Grief has been developed with Fabiola's long-term collaborator, Will Dickie.


Created and performed by Fabiola Santana
Directed and devised by Will Dickie
Lancaster Arts Producer: Alice Booth
Lancaster Arts Production Manager: Konrad Watson

Design: Hanna Tuulikki
Sound Design: Will Dickie
Voice Collaborators: Hanna Tuulikki & Lisa Lapidge
Textile Fabricator: Lydia Honeybone
Project Manager: Harriet Warnock

Immense gratitude to our contributors for all their wisdom & generosity: Christine, Nicky, Shaheda, Elham, Gina, Karina, Chell, Nush, Michelle, Debi.

A special thank you to the Churches Conservation Trust for permission to use their extraordinary building, Church of St John the Evangelist.  Find out more about their work here.

A Place for Grief is part of a three-year cultural programme, ‘Mill Race: Flow of Change’. This celebrates the Mill Race area as a core and dynamic part of Lancaster that is informed by its heritage as well as its emerging, contemporary character. The programme complements the Lancaster High Streets Heritage Action Zone being delivered by Lancaster City Council. Both programmes are funded by Historic England.


Opening Dates/Times

25/4 12-7pm 26/4 12-7pm 27/4 12-3pm 28/4 12-3pm 29/4 12-7pm 30/4 11-2pm


Please register for free via our booking system