Russian artist Maria Ionova-Gribina’s Natura Morta is a beautiful example of a practice in photographic endeavors that I am slowly seeing more of: adorning dead animals with flowers. If not in the fine art realm, then I encounter it casually, by people who want to pay a small respect to their beloved pets or to lifeless animals they pass on the street. I love the bright, flamboyant flowers and colors in Ionova-Gribina’s pictures; the flowers flush with the image’s edge create an illusion of endlessness for the fallen animal’s memorial.
From Ionova-Gribina’s statement: “I found these dead animals during bicycle rides to the sea in the summer. I wanted to find a way to save them for world of art. They were so unprotected… One or two days more and they would be eaten by worms. I remembered my childhood. When I with my brother found a dead mole, bird or bug we buried them on the border of a forest. And we decorated the grave with flowers and stones. Why we did it that way? Probably it was a children’s curiosity, our first studies of mortality.
In this project I work with my childhood memories and with the subject of life and death. All animals died naturally or after accidents with cars. The flowers were gathered near dead animals and in my garden.”