T A B L E A U V I V A N T
“Natura Mortua,” a six-part photography collection, transforms the mundane into the timeless by beatifying life’s everyday existence. In collaboration with Luisa Pinho, Jonathon Griggs captured these dreamlike portraits in continuation of a series of Tableau Vivants, a project started in London in 2009. These pieces enchant modern spaces by channeling the surreality of Flemish paintings and traditional Renaissance composition.
Jonathon’s truly original photographs evolved from Luisa’s exploratory performance project involving installation, dance, public interaction and food styling. Pinho’s three individual tableaus collectively represent femme power and faded beauty and draw upon Portuguese nostalgia for splendorous times of prosperity. Griggs “Natura Mortua” series documents these themes in dramatic still frames that romanticise daily rituals like
dressing, grooming, feeding, resting, and dreaming. Each photo’s stunningly modern portrayal of fundamental human activity exudes sophistication by conveying the projects’ Shakespearean and classical art inspiration. Remnants of Hamlet’s Ophelia, Manet’s Olympia, and even Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray” flow out of these photographs and into the spaces they hang, compelling anyone’s attention by weaving together traditional and modern art forms.
For Figgoscope Curates, the value of ‘Natura Mortua’ rests in the project’s contemporary approach to classical portraiture. The scale of Griggs’ photographs pays homage to the oil paintings of centuries past and brings timeless character to the spaces in which they hang. Each piece captivates interiors by being a modern rendition of traditional artwork whilst conveying the beauty behind life’s most primitive tasks.