Sarah Posey

Western death culture is multifaceted and steeped in both historical tradition and capitalism. Like aging and decaying, death is an inexorable natural cycle. Why then do most of us avoid thinking about our impending mortality. Why are we frightened of death? My current body of work examines these themes, as well as the vast net of their connected issues. In order to understand death, we must first acknowledge it and be willing to accept it. My work collages together the past and the present by way of art historical tropes, modern color palettes, modern technology, and memento mori through the ages. The domestic realm is an important aspect of my work because of our tendency to keep mourning within the home. However, the extinction of home funerals and home burials as well as the introduction of machine-automated and commercialized palliative care have divorced us from domestic mourning. We have additionally been removed from the concepts of aging and dying by Internet culture, youth culture, consumption of non-biodegradable materials, and embalming and burial practices. An inevitable fear of decay drives us to stay artificially young and perfect. I am creating work in a variety of media which draw upon these themes, among which are traditional paintings, silk handkerchiefs, laser cut sculptures, and video projections. In the same way that sentimental objects are precious, each object is a memorial. I want to create a comfortable space where one can contemplate death and where death positivity can be fostered.