The bone wall, inhumane use of remains as decoration. Lindy Richardson

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Text of The bone wall, inhumane use of remains as decoration. Lindy Richardson

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  • The bone wall, inhumane use of remains as decoration. Lindy Richardson
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  • The Golden Chamber, Saint Ursulas Church in Cologne.
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  • Walls in chapels are traditionally adorned with illustrative paintings, visual depictions of bible stories to aid the illiterate worshippers. Alongside these are placed highly decorated and elaborate reliquaries containing the bones, hair and clothing of Saints.
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  • In Saint Ursulas in Cologne, above the encased treasures are tacked Human remains.
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  • This project came about in response to the contrast between the elaborate reliquaries, and the decorative wall panels, created by pinning bones to the walls. Both are human, both belonged to a living being and therefore deserve respect regardless of status whilst alive.
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  • The bones are fixed to the wall in decorative patterns of tibias, fibulas and skeleton parts mixed and distributed by size and shape.
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  • This project exists to make sense of the jumble of bones presented as a decorative wall covering. To visually reconnect, and to suggest that the nameless bones once had an identity.
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  • This artwork aims to :- highlight the connection between individual bones belonging to the same skeleton.
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  • Comprising of 11 skeletons each contributing 206 bones, the panels within this artwork visually mimic those in Cologne.
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  • With each paper skeleton assigned a specific pattern, it becomes possible to identify each bone within the final mixed bone pattern.
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  • The 206 bones required to create a full skeleton are cut from the 11 different pieces of printed paper, providing 2,266 bones to create the bone patterns.
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  • Each skeleton/pattern is also allocated a specific colour of thread to further define its identity and affiliation.
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  • In an attempt to re-connect all of the bones from each skeleton, the identifying coloured threads are tied on to the individual intermixed bones further emphasising the chaotic organisation of the bone patterns.
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  • 11 paper skulls reaped and constructed from the original printed papers complete the full set of skeletons.
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  • The coloured threads from each of the bones in the wallpaper are then connected back to the appropriate skull.
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  • Rather than a visual aid to support the re-telling of an old story, this artwork existed before the addition of text. The wallpaper is a visual language in itself, asking questions in new ways and inciting enquiry without words.