The Rapture of Death
Prue Gibson


Hard-cover, 105mm x 100mm
255 pages, b/w & full-colour pages
Published by Boccalatte

This unusual art book is a philosophical enquiry into the use of deathly imagery in contemporary art. It explores art and also literature, film and history to investigate why fear of death is an intrinsic part of life.

"THE RAPTURE OF DEATH is the experience of delight upon escaping grave danger. It offers the sweet knowledge that you are safe, at least for the moment, from the clutches of darkness." — Prue Gibson

This literary non fiction art book is a protracted, personal and accessible essay into the meaning of mortal fear and its related symbols, myths, rhapsodies, warnings and curious obsessions. Small, tactile and collectible, the book stalks monsters, nineteenth century ghost traditions, skulls, taxidermy, seventeenth century wunderkammer and the latest ‘curiosity art’ to find some answers. Discussions of burial poles, fetish and the glorious wings of angels add to the writer’s attempts to uncover our deepest deathly fears.

Writer Prue Gibson worked at the AGNSW until 2003 when she started freelance art writing on visual art, design and architecture for The Australian, Vogue, Asian Art News, Australian Art Review, Artist Profile, Art Monthly, Australian Art Collector, Green Magazine and more.

Contemporary artists discussed and reproduced: Shaun Gladwell, Bill Viola, Sam Leach, Tracey Moffat, Michael Zavros, Rosemary Laing, Nell, Anne Judell, Joan Ross, Ben Cauchi, Ricky Swallow, Danie Mellor, VR Morrison, Adam Cullen, Ben Quilty, Marian Drew, Julia De Ville, Kate Rohde, Michael Riley, Andrew Browne, Jo Bertini and Sharon Green.