Clean, vibrant, and kind of odd… perfection. This is a new, and very personal, series by Vancouver based photographer Jackie Dives. I’ll hand it over to Jackie for the beautiful explanation of these strange combinations:
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“Patience and Balance” is a series of still life self portrait photographs that explore womanhood and aging as a woman. Earlier this year, while at an artist residency in Mexico City, a birthday of mine passed that left me feeling paralyzed emotionally and creatively. Looking for inspiration, I wandered the market in the local suburb where I was staying, and started to purchase items that I felt a connection to. These were mostly rotting fruit and vegetables. I received some confused looks when I purposely reached for the produce that was damaged, bruised, or rotting. But I thought they were beautiful, they were calling to me.
I brought them back to my studio and started to photograph them. I realized I was creating a version of a self portrait, a personal memento mori. When photography was a new art form and still quite expensive and laborious it was often only in death when a person would be photographed. These post-mortem photos or memento mori, which is Latin for “remember that you will die,” served as treasured keepsakes, valuable remembrances of a deceased loved one.
The process of making these self portraits about aging and death made me feel alive, and I even found humour in them. Through a mourning and celebration of my past self I found a way to heal my present self.
I looooove that she gave herself this assignment… smart and oh so lovely, just like Jackie herself. These pieces (and more) are part of a group show, titled Uncannyland, that opens this Friday, May 31 from 6-9pm at South Main Gallery in Vancouver, and runs until June 14, 2019. Go!