Paper garments for the grave: artists encourage death talk

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A Tasmanian exhibition of wearable paper art is exploring society’s unwillingness to talk about death.

Tasmanian artists are hoping to provoke important conversations about the end-of-life stage in an exhibition initiated by the palliative care sector.

paper grave clothes

Wynyard paper artist Ritchie Ares Dona creates his pieces from the pages of second-hand books.

“(I am) making a garment out of paper for a dead body,” he said.

His piece, called Eulogy, is being crafted from the heartfelt messages of Tasmanians who have lost loved ones.

“Some of them were writing letters as if the person were still living,” he said.

“Some of them are confessions.”

It is part of an exhibition to get underway in December called Paper Garments for the Grave.

Jenny Fuller from the Tasmanian Association for Hospice and Palliative Care hopes it provokes important conversations.

“(We’re) trying to get the community talking more comfortably about death and dying and end-of-life decision making,’ she said.

The exhibition starts in Burnie and will tour the state next year.Body Mould

It was inspired by Melbourne designer Pia Interlandi, who helps people make real clothes for their own burials.

“Part of what I do is a ritual, and a moment that is deeply entwined in their lives. I feel really nervous,” she said.

Curator Kitty Taylor said the use of paper as a material had great significance.

“Paper is fragile, as is life, and we just really like those connections,” she said.

“And processes that we can do to paper to strengthen them, there’s a really nice analogy in that about life as well.

“Some are actually making their own garments, so as you can imagine that’d be quite an emotional experience.”

Complete Article HERE!

For more information about the exhibit visit the Burnie Arts & Function Centre, visit their website HERE!

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