All Over Bouquets of Roses, O Death!
Post-mortem photography (also known as memorial portraiture or a mourning portrait) is the practice of photographing the recently deceased. Various cultures use and have used this practice, though the best-studied area of post-mortem photography is that of Europe and America.
As the series grew, I felt that it needed a dead baby.
My mourning- scene All Over Bouquets of Roses, O’Death! was completed in 2018.
I have been interested in post-mortem photography since I came across a photo of a dead girl and her sisters in a book about London and Oscar Wilde a long time ago.
Making the mouse
One of my sources for information and inspiration for this very small diorama, was the the fantastic book Beyond The Dark Veil; Post Mortem and Mourning Photography from The Thanatos Archive.
An old cigar-box becomes a coffin, it fits a baby mouse.
Her burial dress
For her dress, I had to choose a very delicate fabric. All fabrics I use are vintage. I sometimes color or tint them, but they are always made out of old clothes or fabrics.
This one is made from a very old, beautiful dress that friends gave me. They had bought it at a flee market, and the quality was perfect for this.
I cut out flowers from a piece of lace and attached them to the skirt.
The coffin is padded with silk, and I made the pillow from another piece of vintage clothing.
I made all the flowers from hand-tinted silk-paper.
My grandmother would make paper-flowers for funerals, and even if I never saw any of these bouquets, I always imagined what they would have looked like.
Inspired by this, I created roses in many shades for this scene.
One vase is made from a metal lid , the other sculpted in polymer clay.
I usually create many different pieces of art for each room, paintings or drawings, just choosing a few in the end. When doing the final touches of a scene, I try different pieces on the wall, to see what works best, and it’s great to have a few to choose from.
In this scene, I could even add an original wetplate photo of one of my other mice.