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Florida Gulf Coast University
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Fort Myers, FL 33965-6565
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CAITLIN ROSOLEN - DE JESUS

HOW STRANGE IT IS TO BE ANYTHING AT ALL

Senior Project FALL 2017

As a person who has always found peace in death, dying, and the process of decomposition; it seemed natural that the subject made itself prominent in my senior project. My work is a reflection of the future of us all to come. I believe after we have died, and in the midst of decomposition, we all end up appearing abstract – a form of art. I combined the art of abstraction with science through visual documentation. Every living creature will die. In death, a creature gives its entire being, until there is nothing left of it. The dead decompose, and the corpse that was once present – vanishes, while nourishing the grounds on which it died. With the combination of microbes, bacteria, and insects – I consider there to be life after death; it just may not be in the way that some people envision it.


By focusing on the flurry of activity that occurs during the decomposition process I am encompassing the momentary movement of decay. While the subject itself is what activates the process of decomposition; my project focuses on the variables that make decomposition possible. It is through documenting the memory of movement within the fleeting moments of such variables that my senior project is conceptually based.


I am conveying the motions of decomposition through the use of vellum, acrylic paint, and pastel. The subjects for my three works include a rabbit, a monitor lizard, and a pig. A rabbit was chosen to symbolize that the decomposition of small creatures is monumental and just as
important in the cycle of nature. A monitor lizard was chosen to symbolize that no matter how different one may appear on the outside, after decomposition - we all look relative to another. A pig was chosen because the similarities of a pig’s anatomy is the closest in semblance to a human. The animals are pulled from individual time lapse video footage of corpses decomposing. From the time lapse videos, I took stills, mid-decomposition, and with gestural strokes and shading, I recreated the multitude of movements that must take place during decomposition. Because decomposition is a long process of constant changes, I chose to use sheets of vellum paper in layers to express time passing. Through its translucency, the combined layers of vellum portray the ephemeral nature of decay. Each layer represents a once prominent stage of decomposition, that which unequivocally fades and becomes a vague depiction of its previous state. Each work within the series stands nine feet tall and three feet wide. The scale of the work is meant to overwhelm and give the viewer a sense of insignificance. Not allowing the viewer to escape or ignore it based on sheer size alone. Death and decomposition are bigger than us, and in the end we all succumb to it.