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Sculptures of Pain: Art that reflects on the cycle of life

‘Matter is neither created nor destroyed; it is only transformed’.

We are born, we live, and we die. This is the simple chain every single living being follows. But these stages contain a strong link between them: continuity. Stephanie Kilgast’s sculptures symbolize the subsistence of life and death.

In association with illustrator Miles Johnston, artist Stephanie K. developed a series of 12 sculptures that take up the decomposition of matter through the depiction of collapsed mushrooms and corals in front of the pale presence of a woman who strongly embraces the feeling of loss.

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The misshapen coral figures drip announcing disintegration, but at some edges, nature refuses to die. Stephanie recognized that the fungi and corals must have some life in them ‘because, whatever happens, life always goes on. Even if it’s at the bacterial level.’

The art of life and death in nature

We tend to mourn the death of people, of those who shared the world with us. However, there are other things we take for death because we believe it is part of natural evolution. The mass extinction or climate emergency is happening, and the woman in the sculptures mourns for it: the loss of nature.

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The wonder of the ecological community is the antidote the planet needs. This technique promoted by Rachel Carson, a pioneer of eco-consciousness, nourishes human beings with a thirst to marvel at what makes up the planet: forests, rivers, icebergs, oceans, jungles, deserts, and so on.

Just as Carson pushed eco-awareness to confront the extermination of ecosystems, Stephanie Kilgast seduces humans to force them to think about loss and the possible bacterial regeneration that gives hope for life.

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Story originally published in Ecoosfera in Spanish

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