"(only in) Remission"
Originally I had considered a red heart. Although it worked for my personal meaning behind the piece, and looked beautiful with her red hair, something about it was just not working. Plus, I didn't want it to look too typical or like some kind of religious iconography, so I had a last minute overhaul of the whole concept-- the night before the show!
The idea of a bruised or grayed/decaying sort of heart came to mind. Then I also thought about how coals are black and gray; dingey and dead looking, yet still containing bright burning red embers inside. From the start, I wanted the heart to morph into something organic. The veins and arteries reminded me of roots (which tied into some complex metaphorical statement I wanted to illustrate, that I don't want to go into right now- haha) and so I was thinking of it turning into roots and twigs; like something was growing from it. The thought of rich blacks and grays reminded me of black irises- thus the idea was born.
One of my favorite, overlooked parts of this is the bust (LOL). Using a super-secret technique, I creating this pattern of colors and highlights, coming through the black of the corset. You should click the image above to see it up close.
Below you can see more textural elements I incorporated throughout this piece: