SculptureAbsence, 202240cm width x 70cm height x 42cm depth

I created ‘Absence’ as an instinctive reaction to my husband passing away. Traditional dolls houses typically characterise an idealised life, however, I wanted to communicate an authentic reality of grief and how it feels after someone you love dies. The house and its contents are dominated by white, evoking all that encompasses grief – silence, stillness, emptiness, blankness, isolation, loneliness. I was inspired by Hitchcock’s ‘Rear Window’, and the theme of looking in from the outside on someone else’s life, watching events unravel and yet having a sense of detachment. Grief is a universal experience that everyone will encounter at some point in their lives. After experiencing a pandemic, we are living in a time where this is more relevant than ever. However, in our culture, death is rarely spoken of and is almost a taboo subject. If death and grief are a universal experience, why does it feel so unexpected and alien? How are we not prepared as a society to cope with death? Can we culturally change the way we deal with death and grief, and accept it as a natural and normal process of our lives? How can we better prepare for death as a society?