When a loved one passes away, the last thing you want to do is figure out how to deal with their material possessions. After the death of her father, textile artist Tamara Kostianovsky decided to channel her grief into art by using his clothing to make a series of textile sculptures. Titled Tree Stumps, the multilayered pieces suggest the passing of time and how the body gives back to nature as part of the continual circle of life.
Kostianovsky’s work uses the pastel-colored swatches from her father’s clothing to represent nature and pay homage to his memory. She explains, “I intended to make a type of memorial which would celebrate his love for gardening and nature. The use of these garments aimed at keeping him present in sculptures that would have visibility and would be out in the world.”
Kostianovsky first became fascinated with the human body while working at a surgeon’s office during her adolescence. Her Tree Stumps appear as a blend between the bark-like texture of a tree and anatomical tissue, muscle, and ligaments. She explains in her artist statement, “By contrasting a visceral imagery with soft materials, I seek to reintegrate the physicality of our bodies and the natural processes of birth, growth, and decay back into our existential understanding of life.”
You can see more of Kostianovsky’s work on her website.