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A collaborative, interdisciplinary, fine art exploration of the process and beauty of post-mortem bodily decay.
A collaborative, interdisciplinary, fine art exploration of the process and beauty of post-mortem bodily decay.
11 backers pledged $1,134 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$1,134

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Thanks to all of your incredible help, generosity, words of encouragement and patience, we're funded! In fact, we're overfunded and I can't hardly believe it! Thank you, thank you, thank you! This project is such a labor of love for me, and I am so happy to be sharing it with you all. Because of the growing interest and considering that we're only halfway through funding, I have decided to post two Stretch Goals.

STRECH GOAL 1: $1500

REWARD: ALL BACKERS receive a set of 8, high-quality, round stickers featuring every piece from The Reclamation

EXPECTED FUNDING USE:

$200- Increased collaborator compensation

$150- Replace failing camera and computer gear

$150- Miscellaneous costs (including fulfillment costs, shipping, unexpected supply needs, and missed work)

STRECH GOAL 2: $2000

REWARD: ALL BACKERS receive a set of 8, high-quality, round stickers featuring every piece from The Reclamation AND are entered into a blind drawing for one, 16"x 20" original painting using source images from The Reclamation project. This painting will be one of a kind and not sold in prints.

EXPECTED FUNDING USE:

$350- Increased collaborator compensation

$250- Replace failing camera and computer gear, invest in a Wacom tablet (I current do all my Photoshop work on my laptop's trackpad)

$400- Miscellaneous costs (including greater fulfillment costs, shipping, unexpected supply needs, and missed work)

Phase 1: Death
Phase 1: Death

CONCEPT:

The Reclamation will be a series of seven, mixed media, part sculpture, part painting pieces, which will move through the phases of post mortem bodily decay, from death to dust. For a lot of people this topic is unsettling or uncomfortable, so I am using science to highlight the importance and complexity of death and a creative lens to help beautify the subject and engage viewers who might otherwise look away. This project will not only be a personal challenge to create more interesting and skillful art, but also bring a small community of creative individuals together. I hope that it will give others a greater appreciation for the complexity of nature and its most fundamental processes, facilitate discussions about mortality and western attitudes towards the dead and dying, and finally, remind us all that what we see as an end is teeming with potential.

*** Please note this is a digital concept rendering, not a finished piece of art***
*** Please note this is a digital concept rendering, not a finished piece of art***
Project practice painting/concept sketch
Project practice painting/concept sketch

THE PROCESS:

The process for each piece involves many steps and processes. In order to create each piece I'll be:

-Making custom jewelry and wardrobe to be used in the photoshoots

-Holding fully styled photoshoot with the model/collaborator

-Editting the resulting photographs

-Using the images to create a painting on a 16"x20" custom cut MDF panel

-Embellishing the painting with sculpted natural elements

-Framing the painting in a custom sculpted frame with a Victorian-style convex glass front

Custom wardrobe piece hand sewn for Rigor/Livor Mortis
Custom wardrobe piece hand sewn for Rigor/Livor Mortis
Wardrobe concept sketch for custom bodysuit
Wardrobe concept sketch for custom bodysuit
Some of the early props made for The Reclamation
Some of the early props made for The Reclamation

THE FINANCES/BUDGET:

 The overall budget for this project is approximately $1800. I've so far spent about $200 and have another $700 set aside. Your funding would be contributed toward the following costs:

$100- The remainder of the props and costuming needs

$400- Collaborator compensation

$500- Custom-made convex glass panes

$100- Remaining paint/fine art supplies

$100- MDF panels for my paintings and to route into frames

$100- Incidentals and miscellaneous expenses

If I'm lucky enough to have some, any surplus would help me finish the project on time by allowing me to self-employ myself part time, as well as incorporate more collaborators (like makeup artists and photo stylists).

THE TEAM:

My current team of model/collaborators is made up of other creative women. Each one has their own creative discipline ranging from dance and aerial arts, to music, graphic design, painting and acting. Each one of them is not only lending their face to this project, but their spirit and creative nature. They have a lot of ownership in helping manifest the photoshoots from my initial concept to a mutual creative vision.

My team of models/collaborators
My team of models/collaborators

 I've created a pinterest board that is dedicated to this project to aid in communication about it. It can be viewed here: https://www.pinterest.com/ajmietus/the-reclamation-source-imagery/

"Macaria"- Recent work by AJ Hawkins Art
"Macaria"- Recent work by AJ Hawkins Art
"Tinea ex Tegmine"- Recent work by AJ Hawkins Art
"Tinea ex Tegmine"- Recent work by AJ Hawkins Art
"Siren II"- Recent work by AJ Hawkins Art
"Siren II"- Recent work by AJ Hawkins Art

Risks and challenges

This project is much bigger than what I have done previously but feel confident that I have adequately prepared myself for an endeavor of this scale. I've spent the last few years developing this creative process on a smaller scale and am excited to grow it further. I also have several years of managing creative teams and feel that experience will ensure that this project is focused and organized.

I see challenges in the complexity of the project, with each piece being so involved; however, I have a lot of experience with every technique and process used and know that with organization, some flexibility and the support of my collaborators, it's totally possible.

I see the biggest risk in the timeline of the project. I've tried to make sure that all of the preparatory work will be done in the first 2.5 months of the project in order to leave plenty of time for the painting and fabrication. However, sometimes tasks take longer than expected. I also don't know how long I will be able to afford to work part time, and if I have to work more hours, naturally, that would delay the project as well as the distribution of rewards. However, should this be the case, I will be clear and open in my communication about when rewards could be expected and get them done as quickly as possible.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A small box containing 5 spare props from the photoshoots (moths, flies, beetles, teeth, etc)

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Original concept sketch from The Reclamation project, sized between 8.5"x11" - 18"x24" Could be a design for a costume piece or concept sketch for a painting

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    8"x10" Art print of any of my art pieces, Pledger's choice of any work already found on my website or if they would like to wait, one of the pieces from The Reclamation

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    5"x7" Original surprise art piece, mixed media painting on panel, created after 04/2016

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    "The Mega-Patron Mystery Mix"

    1- 8"x10" Art print (pledger's choice)
    1- 5"x7" Original art piece (made after 04/2016)
    1- Original "The Reclamation" concept sketch
    1- Set of 5 project props
    1- Mystery goodie (valued between $15-30)

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    "The Super-Patron Surprise Pack"

    1- 8"x10" Art print (pledger's choice)
    1- 8"x10" Original art piece (made after 04/2016)
    1- Original "The Reclamation" concept sketch
    1- Set of 10 project props
    2- Mystery goodies (valued between $15-30)
    1- Original "Early Art" piece (years 2012-2015) of various sizes larger than 10"x12"

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Funding period

- (30 days)