Sunday, September 12, 2010

Skull and Cross

1985 ceramic sculpture

We have both been interested in Nature and all its facets since we were students. The fascination with anatomy might have started in figure drawing classes, but the beauty and brilliance of nature and these amazing machines, we call our bodies, are still as captivating and impressive as always.

Growing up on -, and owning our own farm for 9 years taught us to respect the course of nature and the cycle of life. A skeleton (which most find macabre) is also a celebration of the continuous cycle of life. The exquisite genius with which it has been created is awe inspiring.
The Sedlec Ossuary ( Kostnice Sedlec) is a Roman Catholic Church in Sedlec, The Czech Republic, famous for its unusual, organic decorations. The site is considered very sacred because soil from the “Holy Land” was scattered before the church was built in 1218.
According to this web site the bones were from surrounding cemeteries; The Duke of Schwartzenberg ordered / hired the famous Czech woodcarver Frantisek Rint to arrange the heaps of bones in order.
I have found other sites that maintain that many of the bones were as a result of the “Black Death” and other plagues that claimed so many lives; there was no space to bury all the corpses and the monks saw this as a solution. Also, in Portugal, the church Capela Dos Ossos - decorated with human remains.
wood fired ceramic skulls
"inflatable" ceramic skull

Having seen photos and being totally fascinated with the concept of the Czech woodcarver, to arrange the bones as he did, I prefer our choice to make use of the form and texture, but made in ceramic!
Mentioned in a previous post our ceramic animal trophies replaced the authentic. We have used the shape of bones in many of our sculptural pieces over the years. Some of my work dates back to 1985 as seen in the photos.

More current this range of ceramic skulls; a vehicle for expression. A journey of discovery.

fine art fair - 2009

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