Funerary Artefacts, Cemetery Souvenirs and Final Resting Places
This photo essay discusses artworks that explore the commemorative dimensions of death through socially-engaged artistic processes, and the use of Oasis® floral foam—an ephemeral material that is integral to making flower arrangements that venerate the cycles of life and the celebratory milestones between birth and death. It examines the material’s uncanny corporeal associations when it is formed into vessels, and the ways in which the foam may be seen to transform meaning into materiality. It reflects on how the exhibition of cremated remains of Roman Londoners with associated funerary vessels, titled Roman Dead, at the Museum of London Docklands, informed a series of miniature foam gravestones adorned with custom-designed vessels created on site at East London’s Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, and a series of art workshops in hospice settings with palliative care staff, which were designed to promote meaningful reflection and healthy discussion about death and dying.
Copyright (c) 2020 Catherine Bell
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