Materials: Laquered glass, Royal Limoges porcelain dinosaur fossil cast, enamel drawings
Dimensions: 60 x 85 x 20cm
Courtesy: Lucy + Jorge Orta
Bones are memento mori, reminders of death.
Lucy + Jorge Orta cast this porcelain replica from a specimen in the Natural History Museum palaeontology collection, a femur from the dinosaur Allosaurus. The motifs enamelled onto the surface are taken from drawings conducted by the artists during their expedition to the Peruvian Amazon in 2009. The imaginary flowers, butterflies and insects point to the cycle of life, fragile specimens so miniscule to go unnoticed, or that simply disappear even before being discovered. There is an underlying melancholy of the end of time, and the hot breath of extinction. The porcelain fragment of life is tender and precious, recording the beauty and wealth of our planet, past and present. The act of drawing on the past can be seen as the activity of life itself. Seeing ourselves as occupying a moment in time, through the reflection of the mirrored surface of the vitrine, makes us question our arrogance over nature and the need to work with it rather than against it.