Mourning School is an artistic study program on the notion of being in grief as the stuff of our everyday, initiated by Lucie Gottlieb and Rosa Paardenkooper.


Dear, don’t forget to bring a carton of milk on your way home x

A postal project 
October 2021 - February 2022

An audio-essay on the series by Dear, and Mourning School is published in the sixth issue of No Niin magazine. Read & listen here
Dear, don’t forget to bring a carton of milk on your way home x is a series of letters developed in collaboration with Dear, an Amsterdam-based artist initiative run by Martha Jager. Focused on experiences of, and reflections on queer mourning, we will send out monthly letters by five contributing artists, authors and poets between October 2021 and February 2022. 

The title Dear, don’t forget to bring a carton of milk on your way home x refers to (last) messages received by those people who are no longer with us. It stems from a conversation we had on messages we received or found in hindsight: a shoppping list tucked away in a book, a teasing text message, a postcard... It relates to the unexpectedness with which these messages suddenly show up in our day to day, stirring up a range of emotions at different intensities. 

This everydayness of grief formed the invitation to MYCKET, Pamela Sneed, G, Manuel Solano and Every Ocean Hughes, who have each reflected on it in letters written or otherwise composed. 

Letter #1 MYCKET 

In fact all things are always already trash, all buildings already ruins & all creation nothing more than devastation. 

The first letter in the series was sent out on Friday, 15 October 2021 and is written by the art- design & architecture group MYCKET. MYCKET was initiated in 2012 by the designers, architects and artists Mariana Alves Silva, Katarina Bonnevier, Ph.D., and Thérèse Kristiansson. 

MYCKET tries to work from a set of interacting perspectives; queer, feminism, class, anti-racism, the more than human. Their artistic research practice, which often takes place together with others in large networks, has generated a breadth of results; large-scale theatre productions, permanent public spaces, costumes, details, works of art, instruments, exhibitions, animations, performances, text and theory production, education and lectures. 

Letter #2 Pamela Sneed 

At any rate standing up/saying no to my mother I hope is the willingness to save my own live, to say to and for myself my Black life does matter. 

The second letter in this series was sent out on Friday, 19 November 2021 and is written by New York-based poet, writer, performer and visual artist Pamela Sneed. 

In 2020 City Lights published Sneed’s poetry and prose manuscript Funeral Diva. In 2022 she published the chapbook If The Capitol Rioters Had Been Black with F Magazine and Motherbox Gallery. She is also the author of Imagine Being More Afraid of Freedom than Slavery, KONG and Other Works, Sweet Dreams and two chaplets, Gift by Belladonna and Black Panther. Sneed is widely published in journals such as The Brooklyn Rail, Art Forum Magazine, The Paris Review, and Frieze Magazine. She currently has work on view at the Leslie Lohman Museum.

Letter #3 G

I also wonder why I am so obsessed with you...you’re just like the dying. Reliant, liquids only, need bathing and you also have strange doo doo.

On Friday, 24 December 2021 we posted the third letter written by visual artist G, they shared the following with us about their practice:

‘ONGOING’ – 2021 Luton, The Galaxy, The mall. The 'Anti Bio’.‘Non performers’, ‘Non Dancers’ everything that we are told we are not good at or need a qualification for. Humour x 100000 Saying I am everything but an artist and watching how people’s facial expression change. Power Dynamics FREE ART SCHOOLS. Anthropology. The internet (beware 2nd hand information and the vacuous). Comedians. Performance as a survival technique. Embarrassing myself during depressive episodes. Bass players. The West Indies specially Barbados. Semantics. My Mother and Father (RIP). Sci Fi as a survival technique. Britishness. Mental Health. Sub woofers. Dressing up as other things. Joy. ‘Non-Artists’. Friends above the age of 70yrs old. Exciting poetry. My Blackness/whitenes. My ongoing Death Doulaship training (Be weary of it being done). #G deathlyg.com 

Letter #4 Manuel Solano 

Went on to try and put a spell on you and ended up cursed myself. For you I wanted to be the best, the pretties, the least scary. Your girl in your arms. 

Visual artist Manuel Solano’s letter left our post-office in Stockholm on 28 January 2022. 

Manuel Solano (b. 1987 in Mexico City, MX) studied at the National School of Painting, Sculpture and Printmaking in Mexico City. In 2013 Solano went blind due to complications related to an HIV-related infection. Since then, Solano developed unique methodologies to continue an art practice which includes painting, video, and installation, and which explores memory and identity, as well as balances the autobiographical with pop cultural imagery. Recent solo presentations include the ICA Miami, curated by Alex Gartenfeld, Peres Projects, Berlin and the Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City, curated by Guillermo Santamarina. Solano has also participated in group exhibitions at the Palais de Tokyo, curated by Hugo Vitrani and Fabien Danesi, Peres Projects as well as The New Museum Triennial in New York, co-curated by Gary Carrion-Murayari and Alex Gartenfeld. Solano recently had a solo exhibition at Pivô in São Paulo.

Letter #5 Every Ocean Hughes 

When I said help the Dead, 
I meant you 
I meant you and me, I meant you 

We closed the series with a letter written and composed by visual artist Every Ocean Hughes, postmarked Stockholm on Friday 25 February 2022. 

Every Ocean Hughes (FKA Emily Roysdon) (b. 1977) is an interdisciplinary artist based in Stockholm, Sweden. The artist’s recent projects take the form of performance, photographic installations, printmaking, text, video, and curating. Her many collaborations include music with The Knife, Colin Self, and JD Samson & MEN; costume design for choreographers Levi Gonzalez, Vanessa Anspaugh, Faye Driscoll, and the band Le Tigre. Hughes has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon (2017); Secession, Vienna (2015); PARTICIPANT INC, New York (2015); Art in General, New York (2011); and the Berkeley Art Museum (2010). The artist has received commissions for new work from Tate Modern, London (2012, 2017), the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2013–14); Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (2013–14); and the Kitchen, New York (2010). A major exhibition of Hughes’ work is on view at the time of writing at Moderna Museet, Stockholm in 2022 and a new commission with the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2023.

This letter series is made possible with support from The Swedish Art Council and Stichting Stimuleringsfonds Rouw.