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End in Mind

Quantum mechanics teaches that everything is energy. Einstein said, “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.” I thought a lot about the persistence of energy relative to the dying process when I was living with my mother during her final months.

Mom loved gardening and well-wishers brought a steady supply of fresh flowers. One day as I was preparing to toss a sagging bouquet into the trash, it struck me that from the moment these flowers blossomed they were on a journey of transformation. My mother’s life—like these flowers—was nearing a major energetic shift. My reflections led me to believe that death is a not a terminus. Our energy persists albeit in a different form.

This body of work is a celebration of life in the memento mori style. Memento mori is a Latin phrase reminding us to bloom completely because we cannot know when our transition will occur. Marcus Aurelius is quoted as saying, “You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.” In other words, keep the end in mind.

All the pieces in this show are digital collages created from original photographs and drawings using Adobe Photoshop and a Wacom Intuos Pro tablet. In addition to traditional memento mori imagery such as dead plants, bubbles, and time pieces, I included rays of light and stardust. On average each piece took upwards of 35 hours to create.

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