The Thoughts Behind My Work


I’ve been unhappy for a while with the content that I put into my blog. The problem is, because I tend to work on several ideas at once, I end up just writing about what I’m up to, rather than being able to concentrate on any particular project or theme. The thing that connects all of my projects though, is my interest in death and religion.
Although these interests drive me to produce work, they are not something that I particularly talk about. Generally I prefer viewers to find their own meaning in my work, without laying out my thought process. However, following my exhibition, I do find that people are interested in my thoughts and views, and my blog seems like the ideal place to talk about such things.

Generally I think about death all of the time. This might sound morbid, but I don’t feel that way about it. I think of it as part of life, and something that, regretfully, awaits us all. I think that, once you accept that death is inevitable, it should make you want to grab hold of life and really make the most of what you have. We should stick two fingers up at death because he hasn’t got us yet, and make the most of each day. This is the point of view I have, although it can be hard to keep up a defiant attitude when faced with the loss of those close to us. It is this juxtaposition of attitudes that inspires my work and makes me question, and struggle with, my atheist beliefs.


About Sharon Mossbeck

Sharon Mossbeck is a conceptual artist based in Sheffield. Mossbeck's work focuses on themes of death and religion, often presented in a vibrant, hedonistic manner. While based on themes of death, her work is more easily read as a celebration of life while questioning what may happen beyond. Mossbeck works in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture using found objects, photography and textiles. Available for commissions.
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10 Responses to The Thoughts Behind My Work

  1. Dina Clement says:

    I agree with your thoughts on death. Having faced it once with cancer, it is also never far from my mind. Yes, live life to the full. Continue to paint, write, whatever it is you do, before the “Grim Reaper” gets hold. And isn’t it funny how, as an atheist (I am one too), one also gets caught up in learning about the religious side of life and how it affects practicing people, their countries, their politics etc. A fascinating subject. Especially the old religious paintings and symbolism of saints and angels. I think it affects my work in some ways, as I enjoy painting the timeless sea, and wondering if it will be there for eternity.

    • I’m also fascinated by the sea. I’m not an artist who is particularly into work based on the sublime, but I do feel that the sea is sublime. I love it’s otherworldly nature and changing landscape.
      As for religion, I’m interested and jealous of other peoples faith and the comfort it brings them. I’ll probably be writing my next blog on the influence religion has on my work.

      • You are not alone in your thoughts regarding thoughts of death. Personally I do not think it will be that difficult of a transition from life. Once we look at death we can possibly understand what life is meant to be, it’s a passage in time, both joyous and not. Coming from a religious background, I find the rules of engagement regarding religious activies to be confining, and mostly, predudicial. A religious person ‘Just knows’ their stance is the righteous one and want to ‘allow’ you to share theri good fortune to have been saved. My religion is to open doors for people, make them smile, be considerate, talk to people and to blow them a kiss when they slow down their car on a busy street to let me walk across the street. I know what is right, I don’t need an organized religion with mega endeavors and a $6 million church organ to enlighten me about the rules of godwill on earth. Maybe religion brings comfort to some people but it has never treated me as such. I find much comfort in like minded people. Wish you well indeed! I am an abstract artist in the USA.

  2. ComaDiary says:

    My grandmother has such a strong faith, we have such differing views on death, and sometimes I’m jealous, God gives her so much comfort, but I shall find my own path too.

  3. Louise Hamel says:

    You provoke some interesting thoughts, Sharon.

    After witnessing my father’s death and listening to experiences of those who have come back to life, for me the fear lies in the dying and in that event giving pain to my family. I am not religious, but I am intrigued by what is next. It has confounded and thinkers, philosophers and artists for millennia. We don’t get to know. I find that attractive and alluring in a strange kind of way.

    As far as the creative mind, I can relate. Always far too many ideas flying in my brain. It is a pretty exciting way to live. Non?

  4. Subzero Kari says:

    I really connect to quite a few of the works you’ve posted here! I also relate to death as a motivator for a life fully lived. I am attracted to many religious icons, even though I am not connected to any particular religion. And the SEA!! Love the sea and the anchor, star and navy blue color. Your work calls to me. Very cool!!! I especially love the piece titled, The Beast Within!! Your work is AWESOME.

  5. To say that you “struggle” tells me that you are searching for the truth, otherwise there would be no struggle at all. Such an honest approach to life that you convey must be what God would want from anyone.

    Have you ever looked at Mexican folk art, especially the themes on death and religion? I really enjoy them.

  6. Like Jesus Christ, I am not religious and likewise upset some religious people. I am an immortal spiritual being having a human experience and like to feel at one with all life. Be it a tree or a dog.
    I struggled for some time with the koan, `What is the answer to the question that doesnt exist`, before realizing the answer was the same as to many of the questions which do exist.
    We dont do anything, but we try to be at one with everything. Both created and uncreated. Love is the answer..
    Blessings and love to all beings. Be one.

  7. lindadickens says:

    Hi I am a painter also. I have been thinking of a life and death painting. As that’s what life is about a struggle. I have kidney Disease for 20yrs plus. I got to stange of looking at death in the face . especially when you got no help from the hospital. I got a big canvas. So when I have done my painting I well send you a photo. Linda dickens. View my website wwwlindadickens thanks

  8. I am also a painter, 74 years old. I am a Christian, and a year ago I was deathly ill, won’t go into it, but I should have died. I didn’t and feel that God saved me to keep painting and teaching art to other struggling fledgling artists. I am an abstractionist and love love love it! Will still have a paintbrush in my hands on my deathbed. my website:

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