Our culture is going through a very delicate time with regards to our perceptions of the end of a loved one’s lifeThere has been an ever present rise in privacy, people wishing to boast a higher sense of individualism and at the same time the evanescent sense of community and religion is diminishing
These aspects have led to a great loss of tradition and consequently a heightened sense of uncertainty and insecurity when facing the end of a life
We have become factually-driven, receiving a mass overload of information from the palm of our hands, dumbed-down in order to keep our ever-shortening attention span concerned with what has the potential to be total mis-informed statements. In this whirl-wind of information, images and details of a life ending are processed with little to no regard
Something as natural as life itself is the end of it, something celebrated and hugely acknowledged throughout humanity. Unfortunately in the last 150 years it has become a secret we hide from children and avoid discussing which has created a taboo around the subject
The form colour and scale creates dominance within a room and a conversational piece which would naturally progress into conversation about the life of the person, promoting a positive mourning process for the mourner
The Post Life Vessel is constructed from a biodegradable material which can be part of a sea burial, which will create a memorable moment for the friends and family as it floats for a few minutes before degrading and sinking to the sea bed to fully biodegrade
The vessel can also be buried within soil, using seeded paper the friends and family can jot a memory or story of the persons life before placing it inside the vessel and submerging within the soil. From the paper a flower bed will grow to create a lasting remembrance area
The design process involved vastly varied methods, from sketching, chalk drawings, charcoal sketches, abstract modeling with wood, wire and blue foam, photography, discussion with with professionals, studies of emotional responses from people viewing the concepts and detailing the physical and psychological interactions with the object
The Post Life Vessel was discussed during a presentation, 'Changing Perceptions of Life and Death through Design' at the ICCM Learning Convention and Exhibition 2015
The presentation was well recieved, thought provoking and interesting, causing discussions from which valuable feedback was recieved
At first glance this is a sculptural work informed by the semi-abstract natural forms prevalent in 20th century works by sculptors such as Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. Its colour and design follow an organic pattern, from plant life and tree forms, visible in veins spreading upward through its body, relating it to nature and to the human form.
To find this work is a 'post-life vessel', created to physically hold the ashes of a loved one, adds much to its presence, organic nature and visual regeneration; a 'vessel of life' to recall memories of a loved person wherever it is placed. It is a simple, beautifully formed memento mori for the 21st century, a serene sculpture to replace the outmoded urn and coffer box.