Dry Bones
Dry Bones
By: jbhthescots@mac.com, Categories: Words & Images, 1 comment

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If anyone is looking for something out-of-the-ordinary to visit, dare I suggest ambling along to ‘Skeletons: Our Buried Bones’ exhibition at the Hunterian Art Gallery at Glasgow University?  If nothing else, it will give you a cheery day out with an insight into the lives of individuals (Neolithic, Pictish, to the Black Death and through to the Victorian era and their many pauper funerals), including fractures and trauma, multiple myeloma cancer, the effects of syphilis, rickets or  arthritis, and tooth decay.

 

The exhibition has been jointly created by the Museum of London, which has one of the largest collections of human remains taken from one location anywhere in the world, the Wellcome Collection, and the Hunterian medical museum in Glasgow, which has contributed remains from its own collection and from other Scottish museum collections.

 

It’s a powerful image seeing all those broken and decaying bones laid out in front of you in the darkened, atmospheric setting for this exhibit.  And what’s even more impressive is watching the deft hand of the very talented artist Lisa Temple-Cox at work, who specialises in “experimental work inspired by methods of preserving the human body documented in the medical museum, framed by the aesthetics and discourse of the vanitas.”

 

And yes, the inner-child in me just couldn’t resist it: As I walked around it, what continually reverberated around my head was the wonderful scene in Dennis Potter’s singalong noir The Singing Detective, as Michael Gambon and the hospital cast broke into a rendition of ‘Dry Bones’…Toe bone connected to the foot bone / Foot bone connected to the heel bone / Heel bone connected to the ankle bone.

 

Leica M6 Classic & 2/35mm Summicron pre-asph v4

HP5+ (@320)

HC-110 (Dil. B – 5min)

Plustek 7600i & Vuescan

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