Above Image – ‘In the palms’ by Angela Deane, part of her Ghost Photographs project. Image Source – http://angeladeane.com/artwork/3405617-In-the-palms.html
*This post does not relate to my current Artistic practice of Text Based Art, but it is still a part of my developing Art Practice and Art Knowledge. I sought inspiration from the artist in my artworks January 2016 and previous to that. However, I still find it amazing that an established artist replied to me and this is why I have included it on my blog, as well as the content of the email being of my interest and recurring theme of my fear of death.
For my most recent essay titled; Death is a part of life, should fear be too? Exploring contemporary artworks that accept death, which may also ease the fear we hold, I analysed artworks that ease the fear of death in various ways by three artists.
This included Teresa Margolles’, En el Aire (in the air), Francesca Woodman’s photography piece, (Untitled) 1972-75, Boulder, Colorado and finally Angela Deane’s, Ghost Photographs. In terms of research, I couldn’t find much on Angela Deane that suited my essay, so I took it onto myself to email the artist some questions for Deane to answer, so I could use it in my essay. She replied and answered the questions fantastically. Although this was research for my essay, I feel it’s still great research and opinion to know in my current practice too, so below is the email I received for artist Angela Deane on 24/02/2015:
Hope it’s not too late!
Do your works show hope on the thoughts that there could be an afterlife?
I suppose in a roundabout way they do. These ghosts stand for the shell of a moment, the memory of an experience, and so these beings, these ghosts are the energy they occupy next. The “next” after the experience has occurred. So I suppose on a grand scale yes, they suggest hopefully that after all of our moments have occurred that we will be an assemblage of them in a new form or type of way of being. Does that make sense? 😉 I have just thought of it. Personally I am quite optimistic about an afterlife…but I’ll get to that down in the last question.
Does your work in anyway represent a fear of death?
Certainly it must as I do have one. Although I am confident of our energy carrying on and existing as another type of thing, on another plane, ,etc… I am however so attached to this body and this brain and this gut and soul that I would be sad to not be Angela Deane as I know her now. I’ve always wanted to be a vampire; part for living for a long time to witness the world changing but mostly because of being rather invincible physicaly to harm. Though I cannot imagine my own death I am aware of what a gift a full and functioning body is and how easily that can be changed.
So yes maybe these ghosts are apart from the ghosts of moments the ghosts of people I’ve lost (those family friends, even those unknown I admired as greats in the world) maybe they are also vehicles for them to hop in and hang out with me. I miss people when they are gone. Death is an odd thing how quickly that person is no longer there. The ultimate break-up. Though I still find myself talking outloud to my father who passed nearly thirty years ago when I was just a girl.
Can you please comment on your thoughts of death and the possibility of an afterlife?
I guess the above actually covers this quite well but I’ll say on the idea of an afterlife I’ve become more aligned with the Shamanic way of thinking. As a young girl I detested the idea of reincarnation but now it feels rather right to me. I was raised Catholic and still like the rituals there; prayer, stained glass, gathering as a group and voices harmonizing but I tend to feel spirituality most intensely when I’m alone. When I’m walking. When I’m singing.
When I’m quiet.
Strange this mix of being terrified yet feeling quite interested in what’s to come?
Aye! I really do wish we would span two hundred years. I think that would be more appropriate, don’t you?
Find Angela Deane here – http://angeladeane.com/home.html