NATURE MORTE (and the descent of Persephone) is a collaborative project between Brooklyn based artists Helena Calmfors and Josh Lee. 


The narrative centers around Persephone’s descent to the underworld, the first part of the myth as represented in the Eleusinian mysteries. While abducted to the underworld, Persephone eats six pomegranate seeds that forever binds her to the world below where she has to return each winter. She is at the same time the goddess of spring, flower and vegetation and such the cycle of life and death is emphasized in her myth. 


The project references visual language from classical still lifes and memento mori motifs while combining it with the incorporation of body parts. The still lifes include memento mori objects such as extinguished candles and skulls as well as symbols from the myth of Persephone like the pomegranate, the deer and the flowers. Together with the human teeth and disconnected bodies, the pieces highlight how life and death is not linear but co-exist.