Mortality is an uncomfortable truth kept out of sight. In ‘Beatus’, I take this truth and create a shrine to time and death.
I found inspiration from the film 'Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer' based on the world of fragrance. From the movie I have used the technique of enfleurage, an ancient, expensive and slow practice of capturing the scents of delicate flowers through purified animal fat. As flowers are also a symbol of impermanence, I capture their scent of decay into pomade and, with the leaves of the flowers, use them as part of the mummification process of a piglet. The piglet is immortalised in the aroma of sanctity and has become Beatus.
Ars Moriendi, The Art of Dying
'The Ars Moriendi' are books from the Middle Ages that consoled people on how to die well using imagery and insight. They provided comfort and taught those who were dying to not fear death. In my thesis, I create my own 'Ars Moriendi'.
On April 4, 2005, my grandmother died. I was unprepared to face death and it impacted me deeply. In trying to understand my own mortality, I manifested my thoughts into writing and drawing. It allowed me to approach my inevitable death on my own terms and make it into something beautiful instead. Now, I feel at peace because when my time comes, I know how to die.