Dead Leaves

The very first idea of this project crossed my mind when I was at my mother’s grave, being preoccupied with her death and feeling of missing her. There is a magnificent and stunning bitter orange tree at her grave, and I feel its leaves root in my mother’s spirit. I literally have multiple feelings about this tree, such as love, fear, and ambiguity! I named this set “Dead Leaves” to depict beauty and death at the same time.

This set includes different symbols that refer to specific subjects (human traits, I mean) such as butterfly, sea, sky, egg, and brain. Butterfly’s wings, bone, brain, sea, stone, sky, and egg are symbols of beauty, strength, thought, vastness, pride and difficulty, infinite area, and human embryo, respectively. I was very fortunate to start this project in Autumn when I could use beautiful Autumn leaves for the background in the photos. This set is indeed a pattern of natural objects with many details! The subject of each set is attributed to the photo’s texture. Further, I embedded some needles in leaves to exemplify determinism, e.g., birth and death that are not our choices but rather given to us. By the way, the needles are the only non-biodegradable elements in the photos

It is worth noting that this set includes some taxidermied insects and animals that I borrowed from my friends, and I genuinely love the environment. In what follows, I explain the six photos included in Dead Leaves set.

1. Lost Beauty
Beautiful and colored butterflies with needles embedded in their bodies were placed alongside lifeless leaves. It may seem at first glance that they are alive, but as one looks at them more precisely, they can recognize impaired wings and butterflies collapsed on lifeless leaves.

lost beauty

2. Wonder Sea
The sea is full of beautiful seashells that were alive sometime. I used seashells, crabs, and starfish in the photo. On the corner, there is a small coast where perished crabs are standing. For me, impaired crabs are interpreted as being related to illness and catastrophes we people face in our lives.

wonder sea

3. Combined Sky and Sea
There are feathers and seashells in this picture as symbols of sky and sea, respectively. The blue peafowl feather is a symbol of blue sky. On the coast, the crabs are heading towards the sky and some of them perished halfway…

Combined sky and sea

4. Bone
Bone is a symbol of strength which is the only thing left for a long time after death. I used some dried flowers alongside the bone to soften the bitterness of the photo.

Bone

5. Birth
Egg is similar to a human embryo, and there is no birth when it is broken. I considered a vacant bird nest with the pieces of a cracked eggshell, as well as feather all over on the leaves wishing to fly again.

birth

6. Brain
From my point of view, a narrow-minded mentality is like people with useless lives. I had a different experience in this photo, showing the narrow-minded mentality with the worms entering the brain. Furthermore, I used some stones next to brains to show that some brains are just heavy but empty in terms of thought and mindset.

brain
Dead leaves
dead leaves