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Graham Dolphin

Born in: 1972 United Kingdom

Graham Dolphin

Graham Dolphing was born in 1972 in the United Kingdom. He lives and works in Newcastle, UK. Dolphin remakes the public shrines and tributes made by fans as memorials to dead rock stars. The objects and sites chosen as the site of veneration are often arbitrary - a rock near the place Gram Parson's body was burned, the back door to Freddie Mercury's garden flat.

The symbolism of the objects the fans choose though is ripe for an artists interpretation. Gram Parson's rock in the desert recalls paintings of Saint Jerome's penitence. Mercury's door becomes a portal to the afterlife. Fans make pilgrimages to these sites seeking the stars aura in physical remnants left behind by, or strongly associated with them.

As with saintly relics, or fragments of the true cross, they are an attempt to make tangible the intangible. Saints relics – jaw bones, fingers, handkerchiefs - are displayed in churches as objects of veneration and devotion, where worshippers leave notes of thanks and prayers to the saints. The fans shrines are direct descendants of these relics.

Dolphin's interest is not in making replicas or facsimiles. The fans shrines are living artifacts, constantly changing and being added to. Dolphin makes a version of them, he wants the sculptural object to become itself, not a cold copy.
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  • british artist