Our parents didn’t teach us about death they gave us pets or Winter is coming..

Mausoleum with video screen and ‘crying’ window.

2015 IMG_0705 2015 IMAG2844


This work came about after the sudden and unexpected death of my dog. It deals with grief, mourning and the inescapable fact that we all, throughout our lives, experience the death of loved ones and will eventually succumb to it ourselves.

“We find a place for what we lose. Although we know that after such a loss the acute stage of mourning will subside, we also know that we shall remain inconsolable and will never find a substitute. No matter what may fill the gap, even if it be filled completely, it nevertheless remains something else”. ~Sigmund Freud (1961)


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Winter is coming

This generally expresses the sentiment that there are always dark periods in each of our lives, and even if things are good now (“summer”), we must always be ready for a dark period when events turn against us (“winter”).

In this sense “winter” parallels Richard of the House of York’s opening line in Shakespeare’s Richard III,

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.

In this sense it is loosely matched by the Latin phrase “memento mori” (“remember you have to die”), which was whispered into the ear of victorious Roman generals during their parade of triumph, to remind them that all earthly success is fleeting.

This is a reference to the fact that we will all die sometime and the inevitability of this and of the coming to terms with the fact that we are all mortal and death affects us all. All through our lives we have to face this fact as those around us succumb. When this happens we suffer but have to continue, after winter there is spring and summer when life is good again but we never really forget the winter months.