Ossuaries and charnel houses

I have been fascinated with charnel houses and ossuaries for sometime. These are places where quantities of bones are kept. Sometimes from clearing a grave yard to make space for new graves but also as a way of preserving and viewing the bones of significant groups of people.

The anonymity of the bones strikes me, often the bones are displayed in huge piles or decoratively but grouped together with no details of the person they once were. The enormity of the amount too is moving.

SMRTOssary

Struck by the juxtaposition of memory that is the history within these places and the lack of memory of the individuals that these bones once were, feels like a strong reference for my work.

My initial fear of death was, I think mostly based around a fear of anonymity and essentially not existing.  These bones exist but they mean nothing without a link to the person they once were.

This idea of individuality in death feels like the starting point that I want to explore within this work.

 

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