Decadent Afterlife

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Michael Patrick McAteer (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
Web Site:
Beth Blake

Abstract: "Decadent Afterlife" has been a way for me to harness and channel my personal responses to the experiences in my life and display them. This thesis can be viewed as two series of work about control mortality and the fragility of life. The use of simulated fungus in my "Biological Phoenix" series serves as a metaphor for the embodiment of the afterlife and acceptance of the loss of my older brother. In "My Diabetic Body" series the simulated fungus and food serves as a dark yet humorous metaphor for all things sugary sweet and loaded with impending doom. In Dr. Shelley Carson's Life As Art she states "One of the most consistently-replicated findings in psychological research is that writing a narrative about a negative experience in your life (called expressive writing) can lead to improved psychological and physical health."(Carson) I believe my art-making serves this same purpose. It has served as a form of catharsis and control in regards to both my psychological and physiological health and provided me the strength to keep growing; through the ashes that are the loss of my brother and the ashes that are my diabetic condition. Life will always spring from decay and this act of nature germinates the hope for a better tomorrow. "Decadent Afterlife" gave me this hope. 

Additional Information

Date: 2012
Fine arts, Design, Biology, Art, Diabetes, Mycology, Painting, Sculpture
Small sculpture, American
Fungi in art
Death in art

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