Among the Bones: Digital Art inspired by ‘Skeletons – Our Buried Bones’ at Leeds City Museum
Currently on display on at Leeds City Museum is Skeletons – Our Buried Bones, a fascinating collection of human remains found at various sites around the UK. Almost as interesting as the skeletons are the stories of the lives behind them – from soldiers brutally killed in the English Civil War to a woman who chose to live a life of religious seclusion in a cell.
The following pieces use photos I have taken of these remains as their starting point. The museum asks – quite rightly – that all photos taken at the exhibition be done in a respectful manner. By presenting them as elements in artwork and finding a beauty in them even in death, I hope I have done so.
As well as the exhibition, I was inspired by the folk horror of the late 60’s and early 70’s – especially the films The Witchfinder General, Blood on Satan’s Claw and The Wicker Man, as well as the television works of Nigel Kneale. In all of these, death features as an important element of human existence and its relationship to the natural world – be it in a blood sacrifice or the mania of a wild hunt. They are also films which locate their horror in a sense of Britain’s ancient past – which to my mind made them an ideal inspiration alongside an exhibition which literally uncovers the ground and the flesh to show our shared history.
Death in the Trees
Life and Death
Damian Mark Whittle