Paint Eat Live

I'm one month into my year long artistic residency in which I've proposed to explore the concept of Memento Mori ('remember you will die' -- the 15th century artistic ode to mortality), as it applies to us in 2010. Which begs the immediate question, how does our attitude towards our own demise differ from that of Europeans in the 1400s -- is there a difference?

My first thought is that our personal experience today is comparatively sheltered from the cold hard reality of death. Most people are instead immersed in health and well-being, illness and injury being sequestered in hospitals and clinics but public messages of how best to live a healthy life ever present in bus stops, newspapers, schools and chat at lunch breaks. And death, although inevitable, seems relegated to it's own specialized corners of society -- intensive and palliative care sections of hospitals, emergency response units and funeral industries. Premature death makes the news, but as average life span has doubled since the middle ages, we just don't expect the Grim Reaper to be lurking around every corner. I'm 40 now. Back then I'd be an old lady. Instead I'm feeling as fit as any other time in my life. But am I really? Of course not.

So this is where I am currently with my residency topic, looking at health and well-being, and lack there of. And pairing it with it's natural partner, in my view, food. Another of life's constants, we must eat. Memento Edere? Not so profound, but perhaps a starting place. I am looking at foods, especially fruits and vegetables, that are reported to confer health benefits and may make a difference in 'lifestyle diseases' like cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Some of it urban myth at best--eg. the fat-burning enzymes in grapefruit. And some of it backed up with science-- apparently the old apple a day proverb endures!

I'll post some works in progress in this area in the Fine Art section of the website soon....
-bc

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