The exhibition From Birth ’til Death: Scrolled Life Stories reopens this week at the Horniman Museum. Through a dramatic instillation of giant painted papyrus scrolls suspended from the ceiling, visitors can learn about the lives and stories of South London’s different communities. From scrolls that tell the stories of recent arrivals, to Londoners whose families have lived here for generations, the exhibition tells the stories of resilience, joy and heartache that is at the centre of all our lives. 

The project was a result of a partnership between artist R.M. Sánchez-Camus, who was based at St Christopher’s at the time, working with the Horniman’s Community Learning Team and community partner organisations including Arts Network, Three Cs, and Guys & St Thomas’ Health Inclusion Team asylum seekers hostel.

On re-opening, the exhibition will also celebrate its recent shortlisting as UK Exhibition of the Year, for the prestigious Museum and Heritage Awards. R.M. Sánchez-Camus says: “Bringing local community voices into a gallery exhibition is an important marker of validation for those who are often not seen or heard, yet who carry rich and important experiences we can all learn from. The Horniman has a rich collection of objects that tell the story of who we are as people on this earth and this exhibition contributes to that collection with the life stories of present-day Londoners.

“Our personal collection of life stories make up the museum of self, continuously archived throughout our life. Each of us is a micro-museum, carrying the history and stories of the times we live in. And what better way to know ourselves than by understanding others.”

The exhibition will run from Monday 17May 2021 until 13 June in the Horniman’s contemporary arts space The Studio. Entry to the Horniman, and to see From Birth ’til Death: Scrolled Life Stories, is free, however visitors (including Members) need to pre-book a timed slot via the website

For further information, access to spokespeople or additional photography please contact:

Jenny Lynn Taylor

T: 07592 117732


Notes for editors

About St Christopher’s Hospice

  • St Christopher’s Hospice is a globally recognised provider and educator in palliative care
  • The south east London based hospice provides high quality palliative and end of life care for the boroughs of Bromley, Croydon, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark.
  • St Christopher’s also provides specialist education courses – locally, nationally and internationally – to help realise a world where all dying people and those close to them get the care and support that they need
  • The aim of palliative care is to help people live well until they die; it’s not just about care for the very final days of life. Last year the hospice provided care and support to over 7,500 local people in need; from gym sessions and art therapy to complementary therapies, social work and welfare support, end of life care and bereavement support
  • St Christopher’s Hospice has two buildings. The site in Sydenham has hospice beds, a gym, a community social space and café, gardens and an education centre. Its smaller Orpington building has a social space, gym, café and gardens. Community events are open to everyone at each site 
  • The vast majority of St Christopher’s care is offered in the community rather than in its two buildings. Last year over 14,000 visits were made to people’s homes, or care homes
  • The hospice was founded in Sydenham by pioneer Dame Cicely Saunders, who started the global hospice movement with the opening of St Christopher’s in 1967
  • St Christopher’s is a charity and it costs £23 million every year to run its services. Around a third of this funding comes from the NHS; the remaining £15 million has to be fundraised
  • Support can be offered to the hospice through donations, gifts in Wills, volunteering or shopping/donating at one of its 26 local high street shops, located across south east of London
  • St Christopher’s has over 500 staff and over 1,200 volunteers.