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Tattoos: The New Memento Mori?
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 from 18:30 to 20:30 (BST)
London, United Kingdom
Sandra Ann Vita Minchin, a performance and installation artist, has elected to have the
painting Vase of Flowers (by Dutch artist, Jan Davidsz de Heem) tattooed on her back. It is part of her project entitled “Ars Longa, Vita Brevis”-“Art is Long, Life is Short” which is a direct response to her own and her father’s cancer diagnoses and the answer to the recurring question “What have I left behind?” Sandra explores her own legacy using the medium of tattoo, and plans a posthumous removal and preservation of the piece.
Gemma Angel, a doctoral student at UCL History of Art Department, will discuss her work in collaboration with the Science Museum, London. She is currently researching the Wellcome Collection’s preserved tattooed human skin collection, in her third year of study.Her research aims to explore all aspects of the 300 pieces; from the material properties of the skins as prepared specimens, to the iconography of the tattoos; to the social and historical contexts of their preservation and collection. This broad approach has lead her on some fascinating journeys through dissecting rooms, forensics labs, and private collections, as well as libraries, archives and museums in London, France, and beyond which she will discuss throughout this lecture.