Peaceful Death

Sırma Aksüyek

"Peaceful Death" is Sırma Aksüyek's fictional work on death.

In her work, Aksüyek photographed her models who are of different age and descent in waters with different colors with respect to the feelings these people gave to her. The vibrance of colors, the flowers floating on the water, and the peace in the faces result in calm and positive images.

Aksüyek says she dreams bright dreams by remembering happy times and memories spent together, rather than subversive mise-en-scenes, and tells: "It was very important for me to use models of different countries and ages, for it helped me to remember that I am not alone when I was trying to come to terms with death, that it will happen to everyone, anywhere. After I decided on the color of water, the type of flower, and the model, I filled my small bath at home, and turned off the light, and took photographs with music I found appropriate to the subject. All my models enjoyed to be bathed in colored water; and at the end of the process they expressed that they felt like children despite the grim subject. We were taught that death is a dark deprivation, but I prefer to reshape my sense of perception; so I interpret death as a journey that is peaceful with a smile. Instead of being buried deep, floating on water is like the life itself…"

As the faces with closed eyes in the photographs evoke the genuine purity of bathing in the water, it also reminds one of the mythological story of Hades welcoming the souls near the river bank. I would like to conclude this essay on the images harbouring a pleasant peace with a reference from Aksüyek's project text: "We can only find peace as we imagine those who are gone are at peace."