I enjoyed the ‘Death’ exhibition at Wellcome Museum in London so much, I was really pleased to discover that in my home city of Bristol, the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery were now also hosting a temporary ‘Death, the human experience’ exhibition.
I’m not sure I can put my finger on why I find the symbols of death so interesting. Perhaps it’s because it seems in equal parts mysterious and scientific. Perhaps because it’s shared globally, and has generated a wealth of interpretations, art and narrative.
As we busy ourselves with Life, it becomes richer for recognising Death.
I made my way to the exhibit and spent so long drawing and studying each artifact that it closed before I could see it all. I’ll be back to take in more. In the meantime, I’d like to share with you some of the sketches I did manage to get down on paper. The exhibition runs until 13th March 2016, if you’re in the area.
In my travels I’ve picked up and visited some interesting death artifacts of my own:
Sedlec Ossuary, Kutna Hora, Czech Republic
The Old Operating Theatre, London
The Last Laugh, Mr Jones Watches, London
Tin sugar skull, Mexico
Doorsteps of cat owners the world over.
Illustration from the book Duck, Death and the Tulip by Wolf Erlbruch
I confess, I have robots on the brain. I don’t think it’s that dire a medical condition so I won’t be too worried at the moment. It’s a bit like an ear-worm where the only way to get rid of the one lyric circling your brain and sanity like a vulture, is to listen and/or sing along to the entire song. I’m currently working on a robot performance project so it’s been taking up a lot of my back burner brain, which means that little bits of robot related ideas and imagery tend to find their way onto the page.
My invention for today is inspired by the fact that we tend to have robots working their way more and more into our lives. Soon, we will have robots for every imaginable whim, perhaps even searching out lost cats…
The Lost Cat-o-matic is fed an image of your lost cat, it then heads out into the wild urban jungle to track down accidentally homeless kittes. Once a lost cat is found, the robot will collect the cat via the scientific gift of a powerful tractor beam. Once a cat (or cats, depending on how successful a trip out is) has been found, it will be returned to it’s rightful owner.