Israeli artistSigalit Landau creates extraordinary works of art by soaking everyday objects in sea salt, turning something average into something spectacular. Landau has submerged shoes, barbed wire and even musical instruments into the Dead Sea in Israel.
But for her work entitled "Salt Bride," Landau took on a bigger challenge by submerging a black dress into the Dead Sea for two months. The dress was designed with a net-like weave that, per Landau, "the sea would respond to."
Over time, the salt worked its magic and began to crystalize on the dress, slowly turning the black dress stark white. "It's a little bit tantalizing, the sea in general and the crystal specifically — it's very beautiful, it looks like milk or snow," said Landau of the process.
The dress that came out of the water was a very different dress than the one that went in. According to a description of the project by the Marlborough Art Gallery, "Over time, the sea’s alchemy transforms the plain garment from a symbol associated with death and madness into the wedding dress it was always intended to be."
When the dress was finally removed from the Dead Sea, the salt had added several hundred pounds of weight to the dress. While the dress had been built to withstand the extra weight, the dress itself is not on display for this reason.
"Salt Bride" was inspired by The Dybbuk. The Dybbuk follows a young bride, Leah, who gets possessed by the spirit of her dead lover. “It’s a side of Judaism that is more romantic and mystic," said Landau.
The Dead Sea, also known as the Salt Sea, is one of the saltiest places in the world. It has higher saline levels than the ocean. The high salt content provided the right environment for Landau's project.
Landau worked with photographer Yotam From to capture the dress's metamorphosis.
"It was very hard to sink [the dress] and dive in the Dead Sea, where everything floats. The water is saturated with many materials apart from salt, and visibility is not easy to achieve. Yotam needed special equipment and weights of 70 kg (154 pounds) on his body in order to go down," said Landau.