Memento Mori is the medieval form that was designed to act as a ‘reminder of death’, the theory of which was used to reflect upon one’s mortality and the temporary state of one’s life on earth, as well as to raise awareness of the transience of nature itself. Re-enforcing this innate connection to the earth and the acceptance of our physical limits was portrayed through dramatic and imposing imagery. Skulls were largely featured as a warning to the public, that what we have in this realm is only temporary.
I have taken this practice and explored the theory of Memento Mori in a modern western culture. Aware that our process of mourning, and relationship with death in our daily lives, seems to be kept behind closed doors, to the point where we have lost the communal notion of death as a natural part of existing.
Thomas Macho writes about death, explaining that, ‘It is present because it is missing.’ This has largely been the core of my investigation, taking Macho’s theory and developing provocative collages, using powerful imagery much like the churches of the medieval period, to establish a new perspective on Memento Mori. Encouraging the public to embrace the inevitability of death, and the innate connection we share with the universe, that we cannot have life without death. And what remains is an endless echo, a presence of absence, as death continues to complete the cycle of life.