The Volatile and The Vain

The Stillness of Life, Jane E Porter and Guyan Porter

A Collaboration with Guyan Porter

In late December 2012, my brother and I worked on a collaborative project of still lives, inspired by Guyan's fascination and ongoing study into Theology, particularly Athiesm and my absolute love of symbolism and Vanitas paintings.

Vanitas is a genre of still-life painting that was prominent in Flanders in the early 17th Century.  The word Vanitas is a biblical term referring to the vanity of one's earthly status, a preoccupation with image, achievements and possessions, dominant issues in 21st Century western culture. The Dutch Vanitas paintings had a strong moral and religious message; beautifully painted objects of the affluent, sparkling jewels, gleaming silver, sumptuous florals resting on luxurious fabrics are juxtaposed by a burned out candle, a brass pocket watch, rotting fruit and a skull.  The rich and overt symbolism of these paintings remind us that, our accolades and acquisitions are transitory and cannot outplay our brief existence.  The prominent position and depiction of the skull prompts us to remember the inevitability of our final outcome, and regardless of our social standing, mortality calls.

Guyan and I used digital media to create our images, utilising antiques passed down from our Grandmother.  These objects were chosen to illustrate the passing of time and those we loved, the questions we never asked and words we didn't share.
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Guyan Porter is an artist and writer based in the South East of England. He set up his first studio in Glasgow in 1994, organising, exhibiting in and curating artist led projects and multi media arts events. His practice incorporates sculpture, installation, architectural intervention, political dialogue and events combining performance, music and visual art. Showing work in non arts spaces, he has also worked with major organisations throughout the world.

You can find out more about Guyan and his work by following this link. 


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