The complete Darkest Journey of a Living Soul exhibition at Chester Cathedral created by Jacha Potgieter

The Darkest Journey of a Living Soul – an exhibition by Jacha Potgieter at Chester Cathedral September 9th – November 1st 2020

My latest exhibition comprising of 27 separate sculptures displayed together to form a wet market, and so highlight the journeys animals go on from their homes in the wild to the markets.

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.

A piece of the Darkest Journey of a Living S exhibition at Chester Cathedral
Orangutans are captured, kept in unsuitable containers before being sold as pets.

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.

For those of you that are unable to visit the exhibition you can see more photos of the pieces on my Facebook and Instagram pages.

To highlight animal exploitation in Indonesia
Dancing Monkeys of Indonesia are dressed in dolls clothing & forced to perform for tourists
Posted: September 12, 2020 by Kate Vincent

Jacha’s art can be seen here: