Bones and Insects

My work is starting to turn towards the creepy and curious, which hopefully will result in a 2D curiosity cabinet for the graduate exhibition. For this work I’m exploring how natural forms can be reassembled into frightening and unnerving creatures.

Firstly I looked at bones, and made these two drawings of a dinosaur skull (which I found strange because of two apparent eye sockets) and a frog skeleton. I thought the frog skeleton was fascinating because of the way the skull and webbed feet make it look almost alien-like, but in actual fact it is just a frog.

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These are both A3 drawings in fineliner; the dinosaur skull has a wash over it.


I have also been making bones out of modelling wax, which I will reassemble into skeletons of strange creatures. I’m thinking of setting the bones in plaster so it looks like an uncovered fossil.

These are inspired by fake fossils which are often passed off as genuine. Here is a link to an interesting list of famous faked fossils, which included both dinosaurs, trilobites and human fossils.

The bones are also inspired by Juan Fontcuberta, an artist who creates fake fossils of mermaids and skeletons of fictional creatures.

juan fonteburtq mermaid

Here are two examples of Fontcuberta’s work; a ‘mermaid’ and a flying sabre toothed big cat.

I’m also working on enlarging images of insects to a very unnerving level. Insects are one of the most feared things in the world, even though they rarely do any harm; most people are frightened or made uncomfortable by ‘creepy crawlies’. I personally don’t have a problem with beetles or butterflies, but I’m find caterpillars quite disgusting. Working on a large scale, focussing on alien like caterpillars and insects faces combines my own fear and other’s.

Insects are usually such tiny creatures we don’t see the details, but by enlarging an image of the face makes it seem very threatening and other-worldly. I am interested in whether people understand they are insects (real, live creatures on our earth), or see them as fictional, nightmarish alien faces.

Here are a few images of insect ‘faces’;

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