Three Ages of a Woman and Death

Year: 2020

Medium: mixed media sculpture

Size (height x width): 2 m x 90 cm

The transience of life is a classical theme in art, having been a source of worry for humankind since the beginning of time. The three stages of life can be represented with water taps: the innocence of childhood, the blooming of adult life and the wisdom of old age. After death, however, there is no longer a physical presence. Only memories remain.

Each stage has its own charm and beauty, and in my work I wish to emphasize the importance of the connection between generations. Hair is a metaphor for human life – running like water, no one can stop or reverse it and it is impossible to make it run slower. The source of life is as irretrievable as the source of water. For the tap representing the stage after life I chose to use beads. Each bead is the meaning of each action done and each word spoken.
It was important for me to use materials with their own history. It is better to fix something or to find a new usage for it than buying a new one. All objects in this installation were used in the past and it took time for me to find the right ones. Their age ranges from one year to two hundred, and the many years in between. An antique water tap from the 19th century keeps many memories of people we have never seen, but their lives are still affecting ours.

Three Ages of a Woman and Death takes a critical view on these existential and environmental issues.
I used photographs as an addition to the main part of my work. The old photographs of a woman from the past are illustrating stages of her life in different ages, and behind them is a lifetime. Is she really gone if memories of her are still living, if her blood is running in my veins?

A modern woman and her daughter. A beginning of a new life, procreation and the strong connection between two beings - which is precious to keep... Life goes on endlessly, as a cycle.


It is a never-ending story. Life is transient. It is repetitive.

Anna Bern.JPG

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