The idea of death, the fear of it, haunts the human animal like nothing else; it is a mainspring of human activity designed largely to avoid the fatality of death, to overcome it by denying in some way that it is the final destiny for man. – Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death(1973)
Renowned Australian Sam Jinks is known for his shared fixation on the human figure – a fascination that has long pervaded the history of western sculpture.
Constructed from silicone, fiberglass, resin and human hair, Immortality Project I is a series of 3 works that took the artist 3 years to complete. Fresh from the studio, the artworks debuted at Sullivan + Strumpf, the twin sister of its Sydney gallery, newly launched at Gillman Barracks.
For his new exhibition, the artist draws inspiration from the late cultural anthropologist and writer Ernest Becker, 1974 Pulitzer-prize winning book, The Denial of Death. In this series, Becker uses his creations to depict the symbolic self and invites the viewer to look directly into the face of a human connection that transcends the physical, yet ironically mortal – and even, eternal in essence. An exercise in facing duality.
A highlight of the art pieces is a work entitled Medusa. Here, Jinks uses his wife, Emma as his art muse – turning her hair of curls into an over-sized and commanding oeuvre of snakes on her head. He addresses death and the subject of inescapable parting through death.
The exhibition runs from today till 12 February 2017 at Sullivan + Strumpf, Gillman Barracks.
Click here for a video on an in-depth look at the series.