Beauty In Mortality

Australian photographic artist Marian Drew


Marsupial with protea, 2003


This project, developed by Marian Drew from 2003-11, sought an aesthetic solution to explore her relationship with animals killed as a consequence of urban expansion, roads, pets, power lines and farming in Australia.


Her community contributed, bringing native fauna into her studio, kitchen and living room to be photographed. The animals were frozen while using long exposures and various sources to light the arrangement, which was recorded onto film.


The series reflects the European tradition of still life, a genre that has long stimulated the contemplation of our mortality and the futility of material wealth.


Marian was consciously seeking beauty in authenticity to draw the viewer closer to the subject of death. The animals’ life and death in these pictures is closely entwined with our own.


Rose crowned fruit dove on fancy work, 2009


Pelican with turnip, 2004