Contemporary sculptors at the British Museum.
4 October 2008 – 25 January 2009. Admission free.
For fifteen years Tim Noble and
Sue Webster’s dark, witty and original works have addressed issues of sexuality, identity,
self-representation and taboo.
Inspired by the Museum’s Egyptian collections, they have painstakingly produced a unique silhouette work. A simple spotlight transforms an apparently amorphous heap of mummified creatures into two silhouettes of the artists' faces.
Tim Noble and Sue Webster’s use of animals echoes that of their Egyptian predecessors. Ancient Egyptians believed that gods could take the form of animals. Cats, dogs, birds and other creatures were bred to be mummified, then sold to pilgrims who offered them back to the gods.
Dark Stuff examine
our attitudes to life and death, beauty and the grotesque, and
invites that perennial question (often asked about the ancient
‘How did they do it?’
'Tim’s mum bought some kittens three years ago. The cats started bringing in their prey almost every day. We collected their remains in a box marked with a skull and crossbones, which we called 'Dead Things'. Soon we had a few hundred rotting creatures – mice, rats, voles, even a squirrel and a toad. Walking through the British Museum, we were struck by the Egyptians’ use of mummification, their obsession with animals and animal parts, and how good at sculpture they were. And suddenly we knew what to do with our mummified animals!'