The Sweet Forever: How Photography in the Wake of Digital Transformation Might Inform a Re-imagining of Death
“For nearly 200 years, photography has been intrinsically interconnected with death through a range of scientific, medical, technological, cultural, social and personal practices, including its historic use as a medium for conveying imagined representations of the ‘living dead’ in early spirit photography.
Today, extraordinary new discoveries about the process of dying have emerged through scientific and technological innovation in resuscitation, which blur the boundaries between life and death. My practice-led research considers how awareness of such revelatory new understandings of the dying process might transform the way we picture death, dying, and the dead. Through creative practice I explore how photography in the wake of digital transformation might inform a contemporary re-imagining of death and dying. By using a range of methods I re-approach historic visual illusion technologies to newly evoke ‘immaterial’ subjects.
My personal investigation of death and dying through photography is paralleled with a text-based investigation of wider understandings of death in our society through the personal letters of a diverse range of people in my community. In digitised form, the letters are publicly featured on a website, The Death Letter Project deathletterprojects.com, alongside photographic portraits taken of each contributor. Taken together both my creative visual practice, and my work with people’s letters, forms a contribution to the field of death studies, and to our continually evolving imagining of death and dying in the twenty-first century."
Tina FiveAsh is a photo-based artist whose work is focused on illuminating the unseen and often invisible aspects of culture and humanity through the medium of experimental photomedia. Over the past thirty years, her work has appeared on billboards, public advertising spaces, film, television, book and magazines covers, and featured in exhibitions and festivals throughout the world. Previous People’s Choice Award winner at the Olive Cotton Award for Photographic Portraiture, Tina’s work was additionally awarded Highly Commended at the 2017 Olive Cotton Award and selected as a finalist in the prestigious 2016 National Portrait Prize and 64th Blake Prize. Tina’s previous international exhibitions include: the 13th Pingyao International Photography Festival in China in 2013; Terra Nullius: Contemporary Art from Australia and Die Ideale Ausstellung in Germany in 2009. Tina’s work is held in the Australian Artbank Collection, Art Gallery of Ballarat, Whitford Fine Art Gallery (London) and private collections.
This research is supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship.
Prints printed by Pixel Perfect in Sydney.
This exhibition is free and open to the public during Gallery hours; Tuesday to Friday 10.30AM – 3.00PM
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