I have started this blog to share my own artword and the work of all the amazing artists that I have come across during my visual research for my final year in art college. It is art work that falls under the name of ‘Memento Mori’ – work that references the remembrance of death. Memento mori is a Latin phrase translated as “Remember you must die” (and the origin of the English word memento, which appeared as memento mori, “remembrance of death”). It names a genre of artistic creations that vary widely from one another, but which all share the same purpose: to remind people of their own mortality and the punishment they will receive if they transgress the rules of their religion. I will also share cultural influences I have had on my work- celebrations like the day of the dead and the Victorian love of taxidermy and the custom of that time of wearing Memento Mori jewellery- mourning jewellery and also their acceptance of death.
One collaboration I would like to share is the work of Afke Golsteijn and Floris Bakker, known as Idiots.
The artistic partnership of Afke Golsteijn and Floris Bakker, who collectively are better known as Idiots, present us with a unique body of work, characterized by the use of animal material exquisitely sculpted into natural positions and combined seamlessly with rich materials such as embroidery and pearls. A contemporary touch is given to the classical memento mori concept, questioning the world’s current trend in over glorification through marketing. In a constantly twisting play between fantasy and reality, Idiots tell us about important themes such as life, death, beauty and restriction. The striking beauty and the vividness of the animals that figure in the works, conjure powerful emotions of awe and inspiration before giving way to our morbid curiosity surrounding death, which leads us ultimately to think of our own mortality. This contrast between beauty, luxury and greed coupled with the mystery of death, timelessly preserved, transports one into a transient state of mind, in which anything is possible.