Still life, vanitas and commodity culture

Woolley, Dawn (2018) Still life, vanitas and commodity culture. In: Expanding Communities of Sustainable Practice Symposium, 16 November 2018, Leeds Arts University. (Unpublished)

Abstract

Symposium paper prepared for Expanding Communities of Sustainable Practice at Leeds Arts University in Nov 2018. During the symposium delegates visited the exhibition Still Life: Things Devouring time. The paper forms an introduction to the themes and ideas in the exhibition, in relation to sustainability and engagement. Still Life: Things Devouring Time is a group exhibition that focuses on the visual representation of vanitas, symbolic objects that warn against excess and the shortness of time. The exhibition brings together a seventeenth-century painting by Willem Kalf and contemporary artists, working in diverse media, who respond to consumer culture and the social, environmental and sustainability issues it produces today. Objects made from non-biodegradable materials and the human inclination to collect possessions contradict the concept of tempus edax rerum, time as devourer of all things.

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