On Sunday, I traveled to Bristol to view ‘Death: The Human Experience’. An exhibition that promised to ‘bring the notion of Death to the forefront of the public’s mind’. This did happen, but I felt that it was a letdown; there were some actual human remains, and these were fascinating to study; as well as information around different culture’s religious practices, and their own unique takes on the notion of Death and what it means for the passed, and those left on earth. I was a little underwhelmed, and this left me with a bit of a sour taste within my mouth. However, I did see some objects and exhibits that were really quite relevant to my own practice.
An interesting take on the notion of ‘entropy’, in which a person’s ashes are buried within a bio-degradable urn with a tree seed mixed in. This allows the seed to grow out into the ashes, and incorporate thee nutrients held within the ashes into the tree. This allows the dead person’s body to ‘live on’ within the tree. This is interesting to me, as I am focusing on making the energy passing from one form to another visible within my work; and this is a good example of making it ‘physical’.
(Obligatory image of Jesus; however, I really appreciate the use of colours here; Red, gold and Green are a strange mix, but are definitely quite interesting when viewed together.)
As I am often drawn to the remains of birds within my work, as well as the rich symbolism associated with these winged beasts; I was delighted to see that there was a great deal of taxidermy birds within the actual museum. Many were in flight, or in realistic positions; and this was of interest to me as I intended to create crystallised ‘birds’. Which would resemble the crystallised wing I have uploaded recently; except, the whole of the bird’s form would be held within a ‘crust’ of crystals. This was intended to symbolise the energy assing out of the dead animal into the outside environment (aspects of entropy and immortality, through the molecules never dying, but instead passing out into the atmosphere) as well as preventing further decomposition and the bird falling to dust. The crystals would be the ‘shield’ that would weather the outside world, and would turn to dust and crumble before the bird; almost like a ‘second chance’, a shell that would prolong life through a form of ‘synthesised lengthening of molecular life’.
There was also a section on Crystals; which I had to take a look at. The way that these clear crystals have formed is truly something wondrous through the use of the light shone on them, they hold a faint golden glow, as well as the inner ‘white refractions’ within the crystalline forms. I am attempting to synthesise something similar to these crystals within my studio practice; but unfortunately, am not having much luck. Nevertheless, I will persevere.