Death; we can deny it and medicine can delayit, but it remains life’s only certainty. Fascinated by the place that death – the ultimate taboo – holds in British society today Rankin set out to unearth and challenge people’s perceptions of it through his unique and poignant project: ALIVE: In The Face of Death, which opens at Liverpool’s Walker Gallery today.

Over the last three months Rankin has been photographing those affected by death, whether it’s those with terminal illness, those that have survived against the odds or even those making a living from the death industry, to create an exhibition of more than 70 portraits that he hopes will face death head on, and open a dialogue about one of Britain’s last remaining taboos.

“It all began six years ago when my parents passed away,” Rankin has said, “I wasn’t really ready to deal with that. But I want to create a platform for those to tell their story and for us to be able to discuss those stories,” he stated before admitting the truth that most of us also feel, “I’m scared of dying.” “But this project has got me to a point where I can start talking about it, and that’s what I want you to do too.”

ALIVE: In The Face of Death opens today at the Walker Gallery in Liverpool and runs until September 15.

Art & Culture


Art & Culture

The Interview: Gavin Turk

Published on 20 August 2014

“Inspiration often comes from a long gestation period of part constructed thoughts that somehow need to find a kind of wholeness.”


Art & Culture

Ryan Gander

Published on 17 August 2014

Hidden away in a corner of Hampstead, artist Ryan Gander reinvents architect Ernö Goldfinger’s 1930s home.