Darkest Journey of a Living Soul – my new exhibition at Chester Cathedral.
Each year Chester Cathedral holds a variety of exhibitions and events centred around a theme, this year’s theme being “Journeys”.
Last year I was honoured to be invited by the cathedral to create an exhibition for their “Waves” theme, for which I created my Saving the Deep exhibition. Then at Christmas they invited me to create a tree for their annual Christmas Tree Festival which I did, using recycled plastic bottles. After the success of these previous exhibits, the cathedral asked if I would prepare something for this years Journeys theme. We didn’t know at the time that a global pandemic would arrive and turn all our lives upside down!
As soon as I heard the theme this year was Journeys I had the idea of an animal market. I wanted to use the opportunity to tell visitors about the journeys that animals go through, from their homes in the wild to ending up on a market. Many different species are poached and captured, sold to traders who in turn sell them at market. Often kept in unsanitary conditions and stacked up on top of each other, diseases are easily spread between species at the markets. This is on top of the trauma they have already faced at capture.
There are 27 individual pieces that make up the exhibition some of which are:
- Bear bile & bear paw soup – believed to hold medical properties
- Bats – eaten as bushmeat and believed to medical properties
- Tarsia – kept illegally as pets
- Palm civets – forced fed coffee cherries to produce world’s most expensive coffee
- Stag Beetles – used in fights and bet on
- Otter – used in otter cafes
- African Grey Parrots – taken from the wild for the pet trade
- Rhino horn – illegally traded for its supposed medical properties
- Elephant tusks – illegally traded for ivory ivory trinkets
- Pangolin & scales – its meat is considered a delicacy and scales are believed to hold medical properties.
- Orangutan & Chimpanzee – killed for bushmeat or traded as pets
- Bali Starlings – illegally sold on the pet trade.
The exhibition will be in situ at Chester Cathedral until November 1st 2020.