ARTWORK DETAILS

Lana Cochrane St Benedict's College (Mango Hill)
Numbered Days Photograph
Series of 4 digital photographs of found objects (native branches, flowers, crockery), sculpted plaster skull, plaster candles and flame.

ARTIST STATEMENT

How we understand death relies on our intrinsic values and beliefs. Christian values have a strong focus on morality in which good always prevails. Numbered Days is a series that explores human morality using Australian cultural and Christian values. I decided to use long exposure photography and objects associated to traditional vanitas to portray this critical moment (of death) in a beautiful and sophisticated way. While the skull sets an eerie mood, the subtle glow from the flame symbolizes both decay and hope, as a reminder that there is a certain beauty in death.

ARTWORK PROCESS

I began by sculpting traditional objects used in 16th century still life vanitas paintings, such as a skull, cross and candle. I then arranged these into compositions and experimented with long exposure photography using a dark box and a DSLR camera. Inspired by Robyn Stacey and Marian Drew, I wanted to achieve a dramatic and moody atmosphere . I took hundreds of photographs to refine my technique and composition, introducing and taking away items (including crockery and native flowers) as I went. I then selected the most effective images, printed on gloss paper and displayed with the original sculptures.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Lana Cochrane

My art style and techniques vary, although I am usually interested in painting and sculpture. For this particular piece however, I decided to experiment with photography which was a new media to me. During my senior studies, I have been interested in how artists communicate ideas about morality. I have been influenced by the drama of traditional still life artists, as well as Mexican and Christian beliefs on morality as both have contrasting values and attitudes towards death. I incorporated these ideals through the imagery such as the skull, candles, and native flowers.