Burning Regrets

Photo Credit: Bysshe Harkavy / Northern Light 
Photo Credit: Bysshe Harkavy / Northern Light 

Burning Regrets was a fabulous immersive, pyrotechnic ritualistic event held on wasteland owned by Mayfield. A chance to share our individual and collective regrets and watch them go up in smoke under the guidance of the ever-wonderful Anteater of Regret… and then celebrate with fire, dance, music and food! Watch our beautiful short film by Northern Light, showing highlights of the spectacular event, as well as the workshops that led up to the big night:

What people said on the night… 

“The overall spectacle of fire, outside in the dark, but moonlit night was visually striking; generated a sense of excitement as well as of community, like a campfire. Comforting and yet powerful to reflect on the concept of regret and letting go, so dramatically.” 
“Powerful journey from darkness in a desolate space to joyful sense of community – loved the fire (that AntEater and the way that it burnt!), the soundtrack and the food at the end”. 
“Pretty emotional watching people as they stepped forward for their regrets. Burning of the anteater really made me stop and go quiet”. 
“It was a moving, sincere & uplifting event”. 
Photo Credit: Bysshe Harkavy / Northern Light 

Burning Regrets was created with participants, staff and volunteers at Our Room, in collaboration with Walk The Plank & artists Carrie English, Rory Lynch and Jane Claire Bradley. We spent 4 months working with the artists using mixed media, sculpture, written and spoken word to explore the idea of ‘regret’ in our lives. Did we live with regrets? Was this helpful? Were there any regrets we could acknowledge and let go of? 

Jane Claire Bradley, also a therapist, talked with us about ‘ANTs’ or Automatic Negative Thoughts and how these can stop us from letting go and moving on. We worked on vocalising our ANTs and then creating our own Anteaters to help us demolish them. It was this process that inspired the group to build a giant anteater that would help burn all our regrets in a collective fiery extravaganza.

Burning Regrets was the third of our key projects within our ‘Playing With Fire’ Creative Vision and this ongoing work is being generously supported by Arts Council England and the Oglesby Charitable Trust.

Thanks also to the lovely folks of Mayfield who provided us so generously with the space and support for the Burning Regrets event. We couldn’t have done it without you! 

“There was something peaceful about the evening. The flames allowed my mind to wander consider and reflect (not in any structured way) just allowing thoughts and feelings to pass through. Lovely work.”