Tag Archives: Calavera

Interesting Skull Illustration in Melbourne

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Illustration I discovered in Melbourne – Artist Unknown

While I was walking through Melbourne, I have discovered quite an interesting illustration that has been posted onto the back of a road sign. Most of the alley ways in Melbourne do contain graffiti and some other quirky illustrations; there some incredible designs especially in Hosier Lane! This illustration in particular features a skull, while the design itself is rather simple, the skull does feature some interesting characteristics.

I’m not too sure who has created this illustration, although I was definitely intrigued by this particular image, I decided to take a quick snap shot on my to the train station. So I have noticed something very interesting, I have suddenly decided that Melbourne is saturated with skulls! Every time I visit the city I cannot help recognising all the skull t-shirts, illustrations, graffiti art, coffee mugs, paintings, books, pencil cases and yes the list will just keep going and going!

Every time I walk down an alley way, I notice skulls imprinted onto the wall, they are just everywhere. Why is that? why are we all so fascinated with the skull? It’s who we are, under the layer of skin is a human skull and all of these images may encourage us to realise that death is an inevitable thing.

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Illustration – Artist Unknown

Well that’s not all to say that every person in this world is attracted to skulls, of course popular culture is completely saturated with the image of the skull that may emphasise our fascination with something that we all fear the most, the idea that we will never live forever, the idea that we can die at any given moment, as referenced by Elizabeth Klaver’s publication ‘ Sites of Autopsy in Contemporary Culture’1

Ok so I don’t want to go too deep, I was purely fascinated by this one particular illustration that I stumbled upon in the city. The image is quite minimal and there are some humorous features / attributes, to be honest the design would make a fantastic t-shirt design! Why it has been attached to the back of a road sign, I’m not entirely sure, although I do enjoy finding all these quirky patterns and designs around Melbourne. Stay tuned as I will try to find some information about the artist who has produced this image!

1. Klaver, Elizabeth. Sites of Autospy in Contemporary Culture.  New York: State University of New York 2005.


Black & White Self-Portriats inspired by Sugar Skulls part IV

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18/1/13 – Self-Portriats with Black Paint 

So I am still taking photographs at the moment; my black and white self-portrait explore the Mexican Day of the Dead Celebration and the sugar skulls from a Western / European perspective. The floral patterns are quite different as I have not seen this particular design used for the Mexican sugar skulls nor the Day of the Dead face painting. In a way, the patterns remind me of sun flowers, which does add an interesting effect to the self-portrait.

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In the previous post, I have explained how my self-portrait have become a reminder of death; on the other hand, the floral patterns become a manifestation of life and nature. These two components present a very interesting juxtaposition between life and death. I have decided to take an extra step further; I have decided to ruin my design with black paint in order to present a level of decay and degradation. I have applied the black paint beneath the eyes; I’m not too sure what motivated me to experiment with the black paint, I suppose I just wanted to create a different effect.

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The black paint underneath the eyes are similar to tears; it’s as if I have cried and stained the makeup that I had carefully applied to my face. I spend so long applying the makeup, it just feels very strange when I decided to destroy my design with the black paint. It is the imperfections that provides a darker, more sinister effect. To me personally, it is the imperfections that become a reminder of death and mortality.

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Some of the images are fairly dark; this particular effect does have a dramatic impact on the way I view death. In the self-portriats, I appear dead or recently deceased. These images have invited me to question what happens after death? what will happen to my body after death? What will I look like if I was buried in a coffin underground? I don’t really know how to answer these questions; hopefully the self-portriats will provide some answers in relation to my own interpretations of death.