A Collection of Nature Based Sculpture to Commemorate Life
At a certain age, death becomes a norm. Family members die, friends die, pets die and in my case, my baby died. Her name was Sky and I never had the chance to meet her face to face. She was stillborn. Her birthday also marked the day of her death. Trying to understand how to mourn her death has been a complicated process full of pain and confusion. It’s painful for the many obvious reasons one can imagine but the confusion is just as unbearable. People don’t know how to treat a mother mourning the loss of a stillborn child. I’m not religious and don’t have any formal ceremonies that I can refer to. My mourning is my own and it has been up to me to honor my child in any way that helps me to heal.
Healing is a difficult process. Our bodies may heal in a matter of days or months but the mind requires years or even decades. Ceremony is a piece of that healing. With the loss of Sky, I had her body cremated but there was no funeral or memorial service to mark the death of a child that only I knew. I wanted her to remain close to me. I found an amulet that I could fill with her ashes and carry with me. I planted a small fruit tree that could bear her fruit and live on in her name. I want her short life to be reflected in the beauty of these small but important gestures.
This is my story of mourning but we all have our own. We are collectively living in a time of mourning. Travel restrictions, public gathering restrictions and hospital visitation restrictions are worsening our wounds. An already difficult healing process has been made worse by these strange times that we reside in. These sculptures are dedicated to those who seek a public space to reflect on the lives lost when public mourning is a privilege.
Colors carry connotations. Gold as a color and a material has cemented its place in funerary symbolism across cultures, religions and continents dating back to the ancient Egyptians. Egyptians, Mayans, Catholics, Muslims and Hindus have used gold to express divinity, immortality and consciousness. It has also been used to protect the dead in their passage to afterlife as well as protecting the living from the dead.
These three pieces were birthed from my mourning process and wanting to help others find their own. The individual sculptures do not represent any specific symbolism or reference any religion. They represent an idea, an experience, a process. Each sculpture provides a moment of reflection and hope for a golden future in life or death.