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  • Phil Hansen

Earth Post Mortem

This project was started nearly a year ago. It was one of those that was slow to get rolling and even after it was completed I still sat with it for a while. That's probably because it's a bit dark and I wasn't sure how I felt about it.

I ran into an article online a while back about Victorian death photos. These were pictures that people took with the recently deceased and not in a coffin but they would dress up and pose the person. Kind of like a final way to remember them. Around that same time I would catch articles about the great barrier reef dying and other natural wonders disappearing. If that wasn't bad enough, I caught more articles about people taking vacations to these places with the goal of seeing them before they were gone. This seemed a bit much to me.

I thought about these two things and thought that recreating the death photos with sticks might make an interesting connection. I wondered if 100 years from now, people might look at us posing with dying and dead natural wonders and think of us as strange. Same as many of us view the idea of posing with the deceased.

I knew I wanted to work with sticks (when walking through a forest, sticks always felt like the bones of trees to me). I began to play around with different ways of using sticks. Eventually I found myself to the simple idea of just placing them on a canvas. I chose to sweep away the pictures when done because it seemed fitting for the series.

Thanks for reading,


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