“My current thinking is that the human condition is just one experience in a vast, living universe which we only perceive a tiny fraction of.”
On Pre-purchasing Your Own Grave – A Headstone Without Death Date – Interview Dick Verkijk
While visiting Westerveld cemetery in Driehuis, the Netherlands, I stumbled upon a peculiar gravestone. A Dutch poem was engraved on it that made me smile, but then I noticed another intriguing fact. The gravestone had a birthdate, but no death date. This person was still alive!
Interview – Mortician Miranda – Miranda Benge Hummeldorf
“Embalming is not necessary, but its benefits can be remarkable. I have given parents the ability to see their children who were beyond recognizable after a car wreck, and I have let children see their father after he took his own life by shooting himself in the face.”
Interview – Jozef van Wissem – On Death In The Spiritual Domain
“My relation to spirituality has changed during the years. It’s a bit like the path the writer Huysmans took: from satanic to deeply religious at the end of his life.”
Interview – Vajravarah – Ruhail Qaisar on death rituals in the Himalayas
“I would prefer to die somewhere below the Kang Ya Tse glacier, silently amongst nature and birds of prey.”
Interview – Perspectives On Death By Funeral Director Susanne Duijvestein
“Times are changing. We are entering a new spiritual era and the subject of death will eventually no longer be taboo.”
Interview – Ross Fraser McLean – Capturing Mexican Death Rituals Through Photography
I asked Ross about his numerous adventures and his near-brushes with death, the things we could learn from Mexican death culture and his visits to over 150 cemeteries.
Interview – Lieke Van Der Voort – When Your Father Commits Suicide
“Suicide makes people uncomfortable as there is not just grief to deal with, but someone wanted this – someone consciously wanted to die, which adds an extra dimension to it.”
Interview – Denis Forkas Kostromitin – Exploring Death Through Occultism And Art
I asked Denis about his relationship with death, the connection between his dreams and the afterlife, and his fascination with dark historical accounts of divine revelations.
Interview – Brian Grainger of Milieu
“A spiritual system I connect to is Pandeism – in short, the idea that whatever God was before the creation of the universe, that the last great creative act of expression for this being was to commit suicide, and in doing so, created the universe as we know it today.”
Interview – Hidden Velvet – Collage Art With A Dark Touch
“I like to think of the afterlife as a new experience; even as a different kind of life. The soul leaves its corporeal form to transcend itself in another place.”
Interview – Amy Haslehurst – Icelandic Folklore Inspired Photography
Amy Haslehurst is a visual artist from Australia, currently residing in Iceland. Through her photography she captures the otherworldly magnificence of the Icelandic landscape and combines this with influences of old dark folklore, to tell stories that often touch upon the subject of mortality. I asked Amy about her own experiences with death and how her ideas inspire her art.
Interview – Bart “Meester Bart” Ongering – On Death Education In Schools
“I don’t think age is tied to losing a loved one. It can happen to anyone, at any time. Children are people too, and they can experience loss at a young age.”
Interview – On Losing A Seventeen Year Old Daughter – Grieving The Death Of A Child
I got an email from Ruben the other day, a musician from Germany who lost his sixteen year old daughter. He told me he agreed with my urge to break the taboo around the subject of death, as through the death of his daughter he experienced this in his surroundings himself. Here is Ruben’s story.
Interview – Lisa Nilsson – Quilled Paper Anatomical Cross-Sections
Lisa Nilsson recreates anatomical cross-sections from small rolls of paper with a technique called “quilling”. The structures generated through this strongly resemble the look and feel of real bone tissue.
Interview – Photographer Ellen Rogers
“Once you face death a few times, you start to realise in whatever capacity that you cannot remain so violently attached to the psychically of transient nature.”
Interview – Mortiis – Håvard Ellefsen On Mortality
Mortiis is the wicked brainchild and band name, as well as the moniker of a goblin-like creature, brought to life by Norwegian musician Håvard Ellefsen. I asked Håvard about his view on mortality and if he can imagine what his funeral will be like.
Interview – Tom Six – On Confrontations With Death Through The Horror Film Genre
Dutch movie director Tom Six is best known for his horror trilogy ‘The Human Centipede’. I asked Tom what inspired him to make this, and how he really feels about the inevitable human end of human life that comes with death.
Interview – Janno Hahn – Gravestone Typography
Dutch artist Janno Hahn is a “typo-graphic-designer” who combines his own distinct style of typography with graphic design in his numerous projects, varying from printed typefaces to tombstones.
Interview – Christian Fuchs – Ancestor Worship Through Art
Christian Fuchs is a Peruvian artist who gives new meaning to the concept of ancestor worship. Through his photography he transforms himself into his relatives by creating self-portraits inspired by their portraits and paintings.
Interview – Elisa Pesapane – Danse Macabre
I had a humbling conversation with Elisa about her two stillborn daughters, processing these experiences through creativity, and the idea behind her stunning Danse Macabre drawings.
Interview – Rick Strassman on DMT and the dying process
Rick Strassman is a medical doctor specialized in psychiatry and the author of the acclaimed book “DMT: The Spirit Molecule” in which he shares his groundbreaking research on N,N-Dimethyltryptamine during which he administered 400 doses of the powerful psychedelic drug to 60 volunteers at the University of New Mexico’s School of Medicine.
Interview – Hans Op de Beeck
Mesmerizing installations, sculptures and films are only a few of the mediums through which multidisciplinary artist Hans Op de Beeck reflects on our complex society and the universal questions of meaning and mortality that resonate within it.
Interview – Arnon Grunberg
“Life to me is sacrosanct. I’m not against abortion nor against euthanasia, but the thought that life is an obligation, that life must be lived, comes closest to my feelings about it.”
Interview – Paul Koudounaris
“In truth, ‘death’ isn’t a subject for pathologists or archeologists or people who need tangible objects. It’s a field for philosophers, sociologists, theologians and maybe even poets.”
Interview – Laurie Lipton
Through her drawings, Laurie confronts the viewer with complex existential subjects and invites him to explore the true nature of everyday reality.
Interview – Annie on being a Mortician
Ever wondered what a 250 pound tumor or a full face transplant looks liked? Annie, a 38 year old mortician living in Washington State, will help you visualize these extraordinary physical manifestations.
Interview – The Haunting Art Of Justell Vonk
“As death is the end of everything in my current existence, I believe it’s important to do and to create as much as possible until it comes.”
Interview – Caitlin Doughty aka Ask A Mortician – On The Death Positive Movement And Being Mortal
Caitlin Doughty is an LA-based mortician, author, and founder of The Order of The Good Death, a group of professionals in the funeral industry who are committed to making a difference in our death phobic culture.
Interview – Jeremie Saunders Of Sickboy Podcast
Jeremie Saunders is the co-host of Sickboy Podcast, a show in which he discusses the heavier sides of living with a disease. Jeremie himself has a genetic lung disease called Cystic Fibrosis (CF). I asked him about the awesome work he is doing with Sickboy Podcast and how he copes with CF.
Interview – The Art Of Diego Gravinese
“We should start celebrating death. We should start considering it as a sacred and joyous moment: the beginning of a new adventure in the infinity of consciousness.”
Interview – Annabel De Vetten Of Conjurer’s Kitchen
Culinary genius Annabel de Vetten is nicknamed Annabel Lector, which you will understand is for obvious reasons once you take a look at her work. She fabricates hauntingly delicious cakes, or rather “edible sculptures”, of the darkest of themes.
Interview – Roger Ballen
Roger’s work reflects an exploration of existential subjects and invites the audience to go on a journey within themselves. I sat down with Roger and asked him about his experiences with death, and how the theme of mortality is embedded in his life and art.