4 digital colour prints, 59 x 80cm. 16-17th Century Dutch Vanitas paintings are symbolic works that represent themes such as the transience of life and the certainty of death. For this new series of photos I have appropriated symbolism from Vanitas and elsewhere to stand for the emotional aspects of heart transplantation. The photos explore some of the complex themes that arise for heart transplant recipients and donor families, such as: living and dying, proximity and distance, loss and rejuvenation, and the distinction between self and non-self. For example, in the first photo one of the tulips lives on amongst a decaying bunch, just as a transplanted organ lives on in another body, raising questions about identity and prolonged life. The letter in photo 3 refers to the thank you letters written by organ recipients to donor families that are often so redacted by intermediary authorities that they are meaningless. The photos function as modern Vanitas, asking viewers to think more generally about life and death, living and dying.
|Date||01 Apr 2019|
|Keywords||Vanitas; photograph; heart transplant; symbolic; Still life|
|Image credit||Alexa Wright|