“Art is never an end in itself; it is only an instrument for tracing the lines of lives”
-Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari
Why create art about death?
“It is important to look at death because it is a part of life”, says Alexander McQueen. “ It is a sad thing, melancholic but romantic at the same time. It is the end of a cycle—everything has to end. The cycle of life is positive because it gives room for new things.
As I searched to uncover a displaced identity, due to the loss of my husband, I was simultaneously battling the role of the artist in this 21st century—where the blurring of media mirrored a culture that lacked definition, and the use of traditional materials to convey meaning was dying.
Travel with me through the spaces of this thesis as I am led through the emergent process of the rituals of making, an interchange between losing and finding, which transports me into dialogue with others, past and present, who have influenced my artistic practice.
The outcome is one rich memorial: a vessel that houses the marks of those peoples and traditions that have gone before me in order that they may remain living. Through art we are reminded that we are not alone, that we come from all who have come before us and that our identities are formed through a collective consciousness, always evolving and redefining ourselves and others to come.
We are formed by the marks of others. We inform others through the marks we leave behind.
It is the cycle of life.