I feel very honoured to have been asked by Larin Sullivan the Director of ‘Soul’, a documentary for the ABC, to be involved. Filming of my part took place on June 21st.
One of my students Pia Interlandi is a Melbourne fashion designer who creates unique Garments For The Grave; beautiful outfits to be buried in. Her designs are tailored from fabrics that fuse with the body over time through the natural process of decay. In addition to fashion design, Pia’s practice incorporates dressing the body and guiding loved ones through the death process. She is a licensed funeral celebrant and PhD candidate. Her garments are fully customisable: the wearer may choose to dye, embroider with poetry or lyrics, print images, stitch in pockets for letters or mementos, or to leave it very clean.
Pia’s work is part of a new wave of funeral customs in Australia and around the world, which seek a personalised experience of death in honouring of life; as well as the emerging “Natural earth burial” movement, which places the body in closer context with nature. In June, a documentary team will follow Pia and her client as they collaborate on a garment for burial. The finished film, SOUL, will be a part of the award winning Anatomy Arts series, made for the ABC. The film will explore the idea of what our soul is, where it goes after death vis-à-vis Pia’s own art practice.