ABC Artscape ‘Soul’ Documentary

ABC Artscape: Anatomy Arts Documentary: “SOUL” Directed by Larin Sulivan and produced by Matchbox Productions. Screened across Australia on the 26th of March 2013 at 10pm

‘SOUL’ is now available for download on iTunes


Pia Interlandi is a unique kind of fashion designer – she makes beautiful shrouds; garments to be buried in. Soul tells the story of Pia’s evolution from student and designer of “Garments for the Grave” to practitioner, as she creates her first shroud for a client. Anatomy – Soul screens Tuesday, 26 March at 10pm on ABC1.

“When you walk into someone’s life, and they hold a memory of you, maybe they hold a little bit of your soul.” – Pia Interlandi

Her Nonno, or Italian grandfather, was the first dead body she ever dressed. His death and the dressing of him, marked turning points in her development, informing her beliefs around the soul. It also showed her that the current rituals around dressing the dead body are in fact outdated.

It was with these realisations that Pia began her PhD in “(A)Dressing Death” at RMIT’s school of Architecture and Design. Now in the final stages of her degree, she is documenting the sculptural works she has created, which blend fashion, forensics and a Victorian gothic sensibility. This includes photographing her ‘dissolvable garments’ which mimic the decomposition process that happens to a body once it has been buried.

Her PhD nearly complete, Pia now must begin the tricky job of finding clients and tailor-making garments to their specifications.

Her very first customer is a woman named Kaalii who is in her 60’s. Braced by the recent experience of burying both her parents, Kaalii is seeking the garment to prepare herself and her family for her own eventual death. Kaalii’s preferences challenge Pia’s original designs and she now has to integrate these new ideas into her own work and still finish the garment within a tight time frame.

Pia’s first collaboration is a success but not without its trials. Ultimately the experience reinforces her desire to pursue her career and lifelong passion of helping families create meaningful rituals for their loved ones’ deaths.”

Posted: Tuesday, 26 February 2013 at 3:27pm


“Luxuriously shot and brimming with thought provoking ideas, this is the best yet in the ‘‘ Anatomy’’ trilogy. At its best, Artscape helps me understand art and how the most peculiar things can be art, and that’s never more true than tonight. Pia Interlandi is completing a PhD at RMIT’s fashion school on a most unusual subject: death. Her specialty is designing shrouds, and here we follow her from her preliminary work to the final stages of her thesis, and then her first commission from a living client. It’s a fascinating journey and Pia is one of those rare artists who’s not only highly intelligent, but also has the ability to clearly articulate her interest in her subject and her processes and to take us along with her. That journey also tests our own attitudes to death. Far from being morbid, Pia’s interest is intellectual, philosophical and poetic, and I found my responses shifting constantly during the course of the 30-minute program. It’s quite a trip.”


In this beautifully constructed installment of the reliably impressive Anatomy series, the subject is ”Soul”. Writer and director Larin Sullivan profiles the exquisite work of RMIT PhD student Pia Interlandi, who has found her calling in designing garments for the grave. As well as pondering the nature and possible location of the soul, the film poses a range of related questions: Why design for death? Why dress the dead? Interlandi answers the questions with intelligence, passion and compassion as Sullivan’s film grows into a thoughtful meditation about life and death.”


Artscape: Anatomy – Soul. A short documentary by Larin Sullivan. (Matchbox Pictures, Executive Producer: Tony Ayres, Producers: Julie Eckersley & Michael McMahon in association with Film Victoria and the ABC). Soul screened Tuesday, 26 March at 10pm on ABC1.

For further information or  potential screenings of this film please contact: Catherine Smyth-McMullen at MatchBox Productions: