Artwork Title: Cryonic Body - Artist Name: Cara Du Plessis

Cryonic Body

Cara Du Plessis, 2016

From the artist statement: These selected works are part of a series titled: Cryonic Beings. I created a number of vessels made from wood, resin, glass and mixed media that contain body casts. This series was inspired by a recent interest in cryonics. Cryonics can be described as: the freezing of dead bodies in order to preserve the body for when there is a cure in the future. These works attempt to question the relationship between the body and the soul: If the body is cryogenically frozen is the soul then also frozen? What happens to the soul when its body is frozen cryogenically? Does the soul return to purgatory? Does it simply disappear? Does it reside in the body? Are the souls of these cryogenically frozen bodies left in a liminal space like their bodies? This series attempts to give tangible form to my own conflicted thoughts and opinions of the nature of the soul. I was raised in a Christian household so the welfare of the soul is very important to me, but I still experience some anxiety of where the soul goes after death. Water and light was used in this series as biblical and universal symbols (baptism, purification, transcendence etc.) The drifting glass bubbles represent the souls of these bodies as the Egyptians believed that breath was the soul. Glass bubbles were blown through using breath. Afterwards breath was again trapped inside the glass and the holes were sealed with beeswax. Beeswax was specifically used as it was used in the preservation ritual of the mummification process to fill body orifices.
sculpture

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