This sculpture series showcases the mystic nature of the Dead Sea.
Artist Sigalit Landau says she’s always felt a special connection to the Dead Sea. Though she was raised in London and Philadelphia, she calls the body “my sea” and “part of her biography.” So, it only makes sense that her artistic work utilizes the sea in a central and transformative way.
Since 2005, Landau has been working with the mystical Dead Sea that provides a certain level of buoyancy and salinity not found in any other body of water. Her latest and most groundbreaking work “Salt Bride” involved submerging a black gown in the Dead Sea with an elaborate system of support to eventually hold the hundreds of pounds of extra weight that would accumulate on the garment.
Because of the net-like nature of the dress, salt naturally accumulated over the surface during the three months it lived underwater.
Even photographing the dress was a difficult task involving 150 pounds in extra weight attached to the photographer in order to keep him 15-feet under water long enough to capture the slow transformation.
But the finished product is nothing short of stunning and a testament to the unique chemistry of this body of water.
Landau drew inspiration for the project from “The Dybbuk,” a 1916 drama of a young woman engaged to a wealthy heir who becomes possessed by a deceased lover’s spirit. Landau explains that through the crystallization process, the black dress becomes her shimmering wedding gown as it became “like snow, like sugar, like death’s embrace.” A poetic way to describe the physical and emotional transformation of the young bride, and the dress she wore.
It’s not Landau’s first project with salt, either. Her first was “DeadSee” in which she posed with floating watermelons in the Sea and “Salted Lake” in which a pair of giant salt-encrusted shoes slipped through a frozen lake in Poland.
The photo series for “Salt Bride” will be on display at London’s Marlborough Contemporary museum until September 3, 2016.