THE EIGHT STAGES OF DISSOLUTION: 

(Fine Art Degree - Final University Project - 2015)

Amy Haslehurst

 

 

The Eight Stages of Dissolutionis a self-portrait photographic investigation and interpretation of the eight subjective experiences of the dying process as described in the Tibetan Book of the Dead. After transitioning from earth to water, to fire, wind, space and darkness, our soul finally leaves our bodies to continue on further journeys. Using myself as the subject, I aspire to question views on mortality and what lies afterwards - darkness evoking mystery and uncertainty, contrasting the illumination of the body.

 

Framing is correlated to encapsulate and house the images, creating a metaphoric and physical barrier between the external world and the exigent concept of dying. Inspired by religious altarpieces and aedicule’s, the frames assume an almost archaic appearance - manufactured by natural materials as an allegory for nature and decay, and contrasting texturally with the images, which contributes a sense of tangibility. Framing is a historic art practice that has become unnoticed and underappreciated in a contemporary art setting, and my reversion back to this practice has grown my skills and appreciation of this vital and exquisite tradition.

  Stage One: earth into water    

Stage One: earth into water

 

  Stage Two: water into fire

Stage Two: water into fire

  Stage Three: fire into air

Stage Three: fire into air

  Stage Four: air into consciousness

Stage Four: air into consciousness

  Stage Five: consciousness into luminance

Stage Five: consciousness into luminance

  Stage Six: luminance into radiance

Stage Six: luminance into radiance

  Stage Seven: radiance into imminence

Stage Seven: radiance into imminence

  Stage Eight: imminence into transparency

Stage Eight: imminence into transparency

 Detail of handmade frames.  Left to right: Bones, Wax, Leaves, Tree Bark, Feathers, Bushfire Brush, Shells, Petals.

Detail of handmade frames.

Left to right: Bones, Wax, Leaves, Tree Bark, Feathers, Bushfire Brush, Shells, Petals.