Heather Allison

Though death is the one thing that no one can escape, it is often ignored until it touches us personally; it was my experience of the passing of my father that inspired my work to take the path of still life vanitas. In my series Veneration of Light, I explore nature’s cycle of life, death, and rebirth through still life photographs of exotic and domestic ephemera. In an attempt to find meaning in loss, I create compositions reminiscent of the vanitas style Dutch masters of the seventeenth century with iconographic color and symbolism. Pensively lit images from Veneration of Light and Remnants are meant to encourage contemplation on the transience of life, while finding beauty in decay. Using taxidermy, flowers, bones, remnants of natural specimens, and oddities, my work dances the line between the macabre and the sublime. Many works are untitled to allow the viewer their own introspection and personal understanding of the images. Through my still life photographs, I aim to reconcile the exquisite luxuries of earthly life with the looming inevitability of our quietus.

One of kind prints of my still life compositions are housed in Victorian bubble glass frames, further complimenting the theme of the work. The scientific interests and exploration of the terrestrial world during the Victorian Era are mirrored in my pieces; I find we easily forget that we are actually part of nature in the current day. The frames paired with the subjects of my imagery act as reminders of such.


For more information about the artist, please visit her website.