Deanne Holden’s creative process began when she read “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot, and “Stiff” by Mary Roach, which moved her to consider the body after death in a different light.
Her collection of sculptural jewellery, which incorporates structures based on abstracted surgical incisions as well as castings from bone and body parts, is also influenced by Memento Mori (symbolic reminders of the inevitability of death), as well as how the dead continue to live on through contributions to medical science.
The Degree Show Collection explores the idea that once you take away the notion of ‘self’ from the cadaver and the emotional associations of death, dead bodies have the potential to be beautiful. As objects they fascinate, even more so when parts are removed from their original context. Out of context, they can be grotesque; their placement away from the body, disconcerting, unnerving, yet they can still leave the viewer enthralled.
By exploring themes of dissection and anatomy, this body of work is the beginning of a series reflecting on mortality and the notion of the purposefulness after death.
Each piece is individually handcrafted and made using photo-etched surgical steel, which is then Puk welded into shape. The forms are based surgical and post-mortem incisions which are then re-shaped and abstracted. These are then layered in latex, with inclusions and additional elements cast from bones and body parts,playing on the visual and tactile.
In time, the latex will degrade and rot, the colour and texture of the pieces will change, leaving eventually the metal frame or skeleton underneath, mimicking the transformation of the human body after death.
You can find out more about my work and links to my social media here.