Death’s Edge


Charcoal and Ink on Paper

Death’s Edge explores the precarious line between life and death. This piece was inspired by a severe depressive episode I had experienced earlier in the year. Death became a temptation and it was a source of comfort. Rather than indulge too far in the fire of that temptation I chose to divert my interest into the beauty in death.

The bird is within a bath of thin water symbolizing life, but it is directly atop a knife symbolizing death. The right side of the bath contains a skull, glass shards, bare branches, and sand (sands of time). The left contains moss, orchids (refined beauty), liatris flowers (I will try again).  Despite the division, it is still held within the bath much like the natural flow between life and death. This piece is just a quiet contemplation of their interaction.

This piece was also the first time I utilized chiaroscuro: the interplay of extreme light and shadow. Similar to life and death, the two both contrast and compliment the other. The darkness allows the light to be all the more brilliant:

“the underlying principle is that solidity of form is best achieved by the light falling against it”

Darkness is essential to revealing the beauty in light. Depressive episodes are essential to making life all the most beautiful when all is well. When my vision is filled with light I am filled with gratitude for I’ve experience life without light. Life will always cycle between moments of good and bad and I am grateful for both. I live knowing both the bad and good will fade. I live in the moment and hope the two will continue to both contrast and compliment each other

Ultimately the bird chooses life as it looks towards the areas of light. It chooses to to try again and live with a more refined sense of beauty for it’s time upon death’s edge.


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