ICONS IN ASH founder Heide Hatry creates portraits out of the cremated remains of their subjects, thematizing and transforming the notion of likeness while hearkening back to what Hans Belting contends is the aboriginal purpose of portraiture: to keep the dead among us in charged ceremonial artifacts.
The experience of families of her subjects strongly suggests an uncanny and consolatory effect that is best understood in terms of a sense of the continuing presence of their dead, the demise of which experience underlies our modern “culture of mourning.”
Hatry offers an opportunity for the bereaved and grieving to ask her any questions they wish about her project in an online open forum. Feel free to ask how her memorial portraits are made, and any other question you might have: How long does it take? How much does it cost? Why do we do this?
It would also be great if a few people who already have Icons in Ash portraits would tune in and tell others about their experience.