Emily Merriot

The still life genre and notion of ‘memento mori’ were what guided my photography practice. An artwork associated with ‘memento mori’ was designed to impose the reminder of death onto a viewer, and so a still life painting possesses such an ability, as ‘it shows what it shows simply because “these things were there”’ (N. Bryson, 1989). Over this academic year I have traded in my camera to use a digital flat-bed scanner as my image capturing-device. I have focused my attention on taking photographs of the typical aesthetically pleasing flora seen in historic still life imagery, as well as foraged, mundane vegetation. The aim of my project has been to contemporise the still life genre by no longer suggesting death. Instead, I have explicitly showcased the death of these fleeting organisms before erasing the photograph completely, demonstrating that nothing can be permanent.