Lyndall Smythe - Photographic and visual artist from Melbourne, Australia.
Conjunctions of art and science to explore death, remains and transformation.
When you consider my artwork it helps to understand two things about me - the first is incidental - that I have fervent tenderness for the Australian outback and secondly - and importantly - that I work in the death industry. (I am a forensic odontologist/dentist).
Many of my projects draw on physical traces, burial ritual and biology of decomposition to reference the wonders and intricacies that can materialise in the succession of life to death and beyond. Corporeal reminders of death or burial practices can provide insight into the human stories that describe earthly existence and the relationship humans have to the physicality of death and mortality.
My artworks aim to reveal and connect the materiality of death with life using inorganic artefacts of cremation ('cremains'), propositional burial dress, internment rituals and biological composting through the mediums of photography, narrative, sculpture and installation. This performative and transformative interpretation aims to propose, that death rather than a finite terminus is a starting point for positive reflection on the regenerative cycles of life and death.
Perhaps by proposing a meditative and propositional space for considering death outside of its usual context of finality and loss I can generate a dialogue that encourages reflective responses to mortality and a desire for the deceased human body to be seen as a transformative and renewable resource.