Death is the end of life, the living’s last heart beat and breath and the completion of the life cycle. My interest in death lies in my interest in mortality, old age, the decayed body and the anatomical structure layered in a lifeless body. With death comes a peeling back of layers, skin, muscles, organs – embalming and mummification complete the process for the deceased.
In philosophy and religion, death presents us various views and beliefs. Two philosophical notions, dualism and physicalism, question whether there is an immaterial soul or whether the body is only a complicated organ capable of immense things. Most religious views have a belief in the afterlife and the continuation of living in some other form after life has been completed. For Christians death leads to heaven, or hell to nonbelievers. For Buddhists death restarts the life cycle in reincarnation, the person becoming another living entity in another shape.
Death in art has the power to confront the viewer with their own mortality, their own livingness, in ways that surpass normal emotions. I approached this subject from a number of different perspectives, painting works that represent death from a number of angles. More specifically I wanted my paintings to capture the morbidity and macabre aspect of death, choosing subjects such as anatomical cadavers and mummies. My research on this subject and on other artist’s works gave me inspiration and ideas to portray it with my own convictions. In this major, my interest has been to represent death in as many representations as I can, to achieve a presence of the macabre and gruesome