Vanita collection concept

Vanita dress - work in progress Vanita, (skull 1) photography Vanita drawing 2
The concept of this collection of work came from looking at traditional 18th century Vanita paintings, which contained symbolic objects that often looked at the fleeting nature of life. The irony was that these paintings commenting on life, wealth and the pointlessness of commodities became just that and were extremely popular paintings in their own right. The idea for the dress came from studying decaying flowers (often depicted in Vanita’s): life draining but remaining a beautiful form, perhaps even more so as it withered away. The dress is really more of an extension of the body then a item of clothing – I intended it to depict flesh; real, visceral, with signs of decay but a beautiful highly embellished indulgent form. Combining both a powerful yet vulnerable form.

You can see more if this collection in the galleries section Vanita Series

The dress is made using textiles, wax and paint and has been photographed being worn as well as being drawn using pastels as featured here. My work usually always stems from me making where I’m able to visualize my ideas with more clarity. I will then draw what I’ve created – in a sense creating my own still life.

I’m greatly influenced by Baroque painters such as Caravaggio who expressed sensuality, human emotion so powerfully in his painting, he really captured often tragic moments so beautifully.

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