Constanza Isaza Martinez, 1984, is a Colombian-born artist raised London,UK
As a visual artist, my photographic work has focused almost entirely on mutability, evolution, death and decay. In the past, I have studied the iconography of the Vanitas still life to create allegories around themes related to the mind, the body and embodiment. One of the first pieces I developed used fruit and feathers to symbolize the body at the peak of its ripeness, alluding to the decline toward death that inevitably follows this peak. A more recent piece, Evolution, alludes humanity and the damage we have inflicted upon the earth as a species. In addition to this, Evolution reflects on our relative insignificance in the face of time and nature.
My investigations around these themes have led towards the idea that death is not an ending, but rather a transition. The liminal space between death and the growth of new life is populated by the Kingdom Fungi, which in comparison to the Animal or Plant Kingdom, remains relatively mysterious and unknown. What we do know is that all life on earth depends upon the ability of fungi to break down dead matter, therefore the progression from using fruit, to shells, to fungi in my work seems logical.
Whereas in the past I have focused my research within the field of art history, recently I have become much more interested in relating my work to contemporary problems, particularly the one great problem which we face right now: global warming and the depletion of resources. Since one of the largest contributing factors in this problem is waste and its disposal, I feel Fungi, with their unique ability to break down waste, can be an eloquent allegory for this.
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