‘At Rest’ is a stunning, and at the same time upsetting piece of work by photographer Emma Kisiel. Her images communicate the grotesque, sublime and the lure of the macabre. We can hardly abide the visual of death, yet cannot tear our eyes away.
By surrounding the subject with living and fake flowers as well as stone markers she elevates the often overlooked and ignored dead animal to the level of a human being, imparting the beautiful grace of their fallen bodies. ‘My images draw attention to the fact that, while man has a vast impact on animal and natural life, Americans are largely driven by the dominant religion of Christianity, which insists that animals do not have a place in Heaven and are, therefore, of little value in our society.’ Emma Kisiel explains. She aims at striking the viewer with this truth and at expressing the sacredness to the bodies of animals accidentally hit by vehicles while crossing the road. Kisiel never moves or alters her animal subjects. ‘They are happened upon, visited with, remembered, and left to return to nature.’