Eros & Thanatos – The possibility of a duality of Sculptures//Concepts



My current avenue of exploration in my studio practice, and the very almost realised final piece; ‘Synthesised Eros’ (working title) – A Light, Man-made and geometric object representing the ‘Eros Drive’ of Freudian thought.


My last work; ‘Cradle’ – A spiritual installation that explores the idea of transcendence through spiritual means, and the desire to transcend. The piece is spot lit in a dark space, and is a more natural form, both with how it hangs and the effects of gravity upon it’s form.

Life Instincts (Eros) – ‘Sometimes referred to as, the life instincts are those that deal with basic survival, pleasure, and reproduction. These instincts are essential for sustaining the life of the individual as well as the continuation of the species. While they are often called sexual instincts, these drives also include such things as thirst, hunger, and pain avoidance. The energy created by the life instincts is known as libido. Behaviors commonly associated with the life instinct include love, cooperation and other prosocial actions.’

Death Instincts (Thanatos) – The concept of the death instincts was initially described in Freud’s book Beyond the Pleasure Principle, in which he proposed that “the goal of all life is death” (1920). He noted that after people experience a traumatic event (such as war), they often reenact the experience. He concluded that people hold an unconscious desire to die, but that the life instincts largely temper this wish. In Freud’s view, self-destructive behavior is an expression of the energy created by the death instincts. When this energy is directed outward onto others, it is expressed as aggression and violence.

(- Taken from

I am close to the end; my work is almost complete on my current project, and I have been considering creating another work to sit alongside the work in the exhibition; as a means of creating a conversation and a dichotomy between the two works. I considered creating one of the ‘harpoons’ that I have been researching, as a means of highlighting the desire of man to learn through destruction; as well as human desire to self destruct and obsess over the notion of glory. However, I have not fully crystallised what it is about that avenue of work that interests me so much, an therefore, will put this idea on hold, for now. Therefore, I have considered putting a piece from earlier this year; ‘Cradle’ in as a sort of ‘partner-work’ to my current exploration of re-animation and transcendence through synthetic, scientific means. ‘Cradle’, instead, is more concerned with ideas of transcendence through faith and divine intervention. The bird that is trapped within the tangled form in the centre of the sculpture ‘desires’ to live on, and the braided wool travelling out from it’s form resembles a bird in flight. This piece focuses on more spiritual, belief based methods of transcendence and continuation after death. The ‘nest’ does hold pieces of a dead bird, as well as the feathers, harnessing the potential found within the bird’s dead form, and has not been lost. Returning to ideas explored last year with the idea of birds as conduits for transcendence from one plane to another; the tangled mess symbolises the internal plight of the bird’s desire to escape, and the structure above the form, linked to the tangled nest, resembles a bird in flight. ‘If one has the will to continue on, then it is said that they shall.’

There is an interesting conversation between the two works; as they both strive to illustrate a similar point; of transcendence and rebirth as an ultimatum. However, the ‘Cradle’ is a dark piece, and resembles the idea that one can transcend through worship and faith, and live on after death (for more about this piece, please look here; However, my current work explores the notion that one CAN and WILL achieve immortality, in the sense that all life continues after death through the constant flow of energy and molecules from one object, whether it be ‘alive’ or not, will continue for all of eternity; therefore continuing our influence on throughout time and space. Relating to Alchemy, I crystallise and harness this energy as a means of transmuting the energy within the piece into a fragile, corporeal form, as well as reanimating and giving ‘life’ to the dead matter that is the wood. Within Cradle, I sought to explore how death can be utilised as a means of thought and transcending; at the point of death, one transcends and continues on. Whether this is the supposed ‘afterlife’ that has been seen by many people, or whether at the point in which we become energy/molecules, our ego strips back and we become one with the flow of the universe.

The Cradle is Dark, The new work is light. One is about procreation and preservation of form and life, whereas the other is a dead object, and the notion of entanglement promotes this idea of self inflicted damage in the pursuit of higher understanding. Cradle is spiritual and religious, whereas The new work is scientific and ‘real’. Each object is contained; one within a circle, one within a square; each object is constrained, and each object holds death. However, there is still hope within the work.


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