I'm a PhD student researching the role of mortuary archaeology in contemporary British society. Think of this as a scrapbook of all the interesting links, snippets of information and random bits and bobs I come across pertaining to death, dying and the dead. Enjoy?!


The bare bones of a relationship: Artists use X-rays to take haunting photographs of couples in an embrace
Macabre yet strikingly beautiful images of skeleton couples have been produced by two Japanese art students.
Ayako Kanda and Mayuka Hayashi used a CT scanner and X-ray machine to photograph four couples in intimate embraces - but the results are not in the least bit cuddly.
While the photographs might be a simple extension of medical X-rays, they paint an intimate yet eerie picture of human relationships.

(Source: Daily Mail)

The bare bones of a relationship: Artists use X-rays to take haunting photographs of couples in an embrace

Macabre yet strikingly beautiful images of skeleton couples have been produced by two Japanese art students.

Ayako Kanda and Mayuka Hayashi used a CT scanner and X-ray machine to photograph four couples in intimate embraces - but the results are not in the least bit cuddly.

While the photographs might be a simple extension of medical X-rays, they paint an intimate yet eerie picture of human relationships.

(Source: Daily Mail)


Should We Use Body Painting to Teach Anatomy?
There are tribal tattoos, photorealistic tattoos, celtic tattoos and biomechanical tattoos. Then, there is a whole genre called anatomical tattoos. Chris Nuñez, a tattoo artist and judge on Spike’s TV show Ink Master, has said that this style is all about “replicating a direct organ, body part, muscle, tissue, flesh, bone in the most precise way you can.”
Danny Quirk, an artist working in Massachusetts, is doing something similar, only his anatomical tattoos are temporary. He creates body paintings with latex, markers and some acrylic that appear as if his models’ skin is peeled back.

 (Source: Smithsonian)

Should We Use Body Painting to Teach Anatomy?

There are tribal tattoos, photorealistic tattoos, celtic tattoos and biomechanical tattoos. Then, there is a whole genre called anatomical tattoos. Chris Nuñez, a tattoo artist and judge on Spike’s TV show Ink Master, has said that this style is all about “replicating a direct organ, body part, muscle, tissue, flesh, bone in the most precise way you can.”

Danny Quirk, an artist working in Massachusetts, is doing something similar, only his anatomical tattoos are temporary. He creates body paintings with latex, markers and some acrylic that appear as if his models’ skin is peeled back.

 (Source: Smithsonian)




THE LIFE AND DEATH OF MUMMY BROWN
Mummy Brown was a remarkable pigment that had its origins in ancient Egypt and became popular in European painting from about the sixteenth century. To many people’s surprise, shock, or even disgust, it was exactly what its name implied – a rich brown pigment made primarily from the flesh of mummies. The story of its rise and eventual fall from grace is a strange one, and to fully understand it we must first appreciate the extraordinary way in which Egyptian mummies came to be used – and abused – in the Christian West. 

(Source: Art in Society)

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF MUMMY BROWN

Mummy Brown was a remarkable pigment that had its origins in ancient Egypt and became popular in European painting from about the sixteenth century. To many people’s surprise, shock, or even disgust, it was exactly what its name implied – a rich brown pigment made primarily from the flesh of mummies. The story of its rise and eventual fall from grace is a strange one, and to fully understand it we must first appreciate the extraordinary way in which Egyptian mummies came to be used – and abused – in the Christian West. 

(Source: Art in Society)


It’s the coffin to curl up in: Artist designs pebble-shaped resting place because she hates idea of being buried ‘flat on her back’
If you sleep in the foetal position, you might want to be finally laid to rest that way too. 
That’s the thinking behind an artist’s pebble-shaped coffins, made from sculpted birch.
Davina Kemble, 59, was inspired to start the project when she was diagnosed with stomach cancer and started making her own final resting place as a piece of art.

(Source: Daily Mail)

It’s the coffin to curl up in: Artist designs pebble-shaped resting place because she hates idea of being buried ‘flat on her back’

If you sleep in the foetal position, you might want to be finally laid to rest that way too. 

That’s the thinking behind an artist’s pebble-shaped coffins, made from sculpted birch.

Davina Kemble, 59, was inspired to start the project when she was diagnosed with stomach cancer and started making her own final resting place as a piece of art.

(Source: Daily Mail)


Damien Hirst: ‘I felt the power of art from a very young age’
Damien Hirst has turned his best-known works – including the dead shark and the diamond skull – into ABC, a picture book for children. He explains more…

(Source: The Guardian)

Damien Hirst: ‘I felt the power of art from a very young age’

Damien Hirst has turned his best-known works – including the dead shark and the diamond skull – into ABC, a picture book for children. He explains more…

(Source: The Guardian)


Dutch artist creates life-size human skull out of COCAINEA Dutch artist has fashioned a human skull out of cocaine by moulding the street-sourced class A drug mixed with gelatin.
The piece, entitled Ecce Animal, is the work of mysterious artist Diddo who says he was commissioned to make the artwork, although is prohibited from disclosing further details.
Diddo says he did not personally test the cocaine but employed a laboratory to analyse the drug bought from a street dealer. 
They found it was between 15 per cent to 20 per cent pure and had been cut with caffeine, paracetamol and sugar.

(Source: Daily Mail)

Dutch artist creates life-size human skull out of COCAINE

A Dutch artist has fashioned a human skull out of cocaine by moulding the street-sourced class A drug mixed with gelatin.

The piece, entitled Ecce Animal, is the work of mysterious artist Diddo who says he was commissioned to make the artwork, although is prohibited from disclosing further details.

Diddo says he did not personally test the cocaine but employed a laboratory to analyse the drug bought from a street dealer. 

They found it was between 15 per cent to 20 per cent pure and had been cut with caffeine, paracetamol and sugar.

(Source: Daily Mail)

One Million Bones is a large-scale social arts practice, combining education, hands-on art making, and public installations to raise awareness of ongoing genocides and mass atrocities in places like Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia and Burma.

For the past three years we have been collecting 1,000,000 handcrafted bones for a three-day installation event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., June 8-10, 2013. The installation will exist as a collaborative site of conscience to honor victims and survivors, and will also serve as a visual petition against ongoing conflicts and a resounding call for much need and long overdue action.

The National Mall installation will feature international speakers and performers, educational workshops, a candlelight vigil, and the opportunity to Act Against Atrocities during an advocacy day on Capitol Hill led by our partners at the Enough Project. For more detailed information and a full program schedule, please visit our Plan Your Trip page! 

The One Million Bones project offered two ways to create a bone. Participants registered to create bones as part of the Students Rebuild challenge. Every bone created through this initiative generated $1, up to $500,000, towards CARE’s work on the ground in Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  These funds were generously donated by the Bezos Family Foundation.

Supporters also had biodegradable bones made in their name for a donation of $5. The bones will be placed in their honor on the National Mall.

Over the last three years, the One Million Bones project has launched several major campaigns and organized two preview installations:

▪ Albuquerque 50,000 Bones Preview Installation on August 27, 2011

▪ New Orleans 50,000 Bones Preview Installation on April 7, 2012

▪ The Road to Washington on April 28, 2012

We never cease to be amazed at how many people have only a vague notion of what genocide is, and how many more have no idea that it’s happening today. While we must remember genocides throughout history and honor those lost to unimaginable horrors, the current crimes against humanity we focus on require immediate attention and action. We understand genocide to be defined as outlined in the U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide:

“Any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

One Million Bones is a project of The Art of Revolution, an organization dedicated to leveraging the power of art to inspire activism. We believe that art is such an incredible tool with which to engage and mobilize communities around a specific social justice issue. It offers tangible a way for people to connect to things that are not presented to them daily. Please visit the Art of Revolution website for more information and to keep an eye out for future projects!


Catholic blood exhibition opens in Londonderry
A controversial contemporary artist from Russia will open his exhibition Catholic Blood at the Void gallery in Londonderry on Saturday.
Andrei Molodkin, who intends to boil human cadavers for future exhibitions, has already signed up volunteers who will donate their blood for the unusual installation.
The pumps are already popping in the basement room of the Void Gallery in Derry, circulating blood around his replica of the rose window at Westminster Abbey. The window is seen by Molodkin as a Protestant symbol.
In the adjoining room he has created a sculpture based on the rose window at the Houses of Parliament.
According to the artist’s interpretation of the British constitutional tradition, a British prime minister must be Protestant, a tradition he hopes to highlight, and query.
Mr Molodkin has chosen to pump blood donated solely by Catholics through these symbols to illustrate the point.

(Source: BBC News)

Catholic blood exhibition opens in Londonderry

A controversial contemporary artist from Russia will open his exhibition Catholic Blood at the Void gallery in Londonderry on Saturday.

Andrei Molodkin, who intends to boil human cadavers for future exhibitions, has already signed up volunteers who will donate their blood for the unusual installation.

The pumps are already popping in the basement room of the Void Gallery in Derry, circulating blood around his replica of the rose window at Westminster Abbey. The window is seen by Molodkin as a Protestant symbol.

In the adjoining room he has created a sculpture based on the rose window at the Houses of Parliament.

According to the artist’s interpretation of the British constitutional tradition, a British prime minister must be Protestant, a tradition he hopes to highlight, and query.

Mr Molodkin has chosen to pump blood donated solely by Catholics through these symbols to illustrate the point.

(Source: BBC News)


Will a tattoo ever hang in the Louvre?
Meet the unconventional art historians trying to discover what it means for an image to be marked on the body.
You smell room G34B before you see it. It’s the smell of formaldehyde. “It’s like nothing else,” says my guide, Gemma Angel. “It’s death, but very old death – not like in a dissection room.”
As we approach the corner of the corridor, a young woman comes round it, pushing a cart as tall as she is. “What’s in there?” asks Angel. “Prosthetic limbs,” comes the answer. “From the Paralympics display.”
G34B might be the most fascinating room in London, inside one of the most quietly unusual of the capital’s buildings. Blythe House in Barons Court is deliberately anonymous, a forbidding slab of red brick among quiet streets. To enter it, you need a very good reason – Angel is an academic researcher – and an appointment. We are buzzed through the clanking gates and past a sign that reads: “State of vigilance: HEIGHTENED”.
Inside, it looks like a Victorian institution, the kind of place where the insane or poor or otherwise undesirable might have been housed. Its high windows and squeaking linoleum floors positively demand a children’s nursery rhyme played in a minor key. It would make a very good setting for one of those episodes of Doctor Who where the producers haven’t got the budget to create an alien planet.

(Source: New Statesman)

Will a tattoo ever hang in the Louvre?

Meet the unconventional art historians trying to discover what it means for an image to be marked on the body.

You smell room G34B before you see it. It’s the smell of formaldehyde. “It’s like nothing else,” says my guide, Gemma Angel. “It’s death, but very old death – not like in a dissection room.”

As we approach the corner of the corridor, a young woman comes round it, pushing a cart as tall as she is. “What’s in there?” asks Angel. “Prosthetic limbs,” comes the answer. “From the Paralympics display.”

G34B might be the most fascinating room in London, inside one of the most quietly unusual of the capital’s buildings. Blythe House in Barons Court is deliberately anonymous, a forbidding slab of red brick among quiet streets. To enter it, you need a very good reason – Angel is an academic researcher – and an appointment. We are buzzed through the clanking gates and past a sign that reads: “State of vigilance: HEIGHTENED”.

Inside, it looks like a Victorian institution, the kind of place where the insane or poor or otherwise undesirable might have been housed. Its high windows and squeaking linoleum floors positively demand a children’s nursery rhyme played in a minor key. It would make a very good setting for one of those episodes of Doctor Who where the producers haven’t got the budget to create an alien planet.

(Source: New Statesman)