Human Figures, Skeletons & Bears. March 2020

A double page of oranges, dirty yellow & brown images of the human form. Skeletons and jokey, mocking bears also appear.

The dancing human skeleton

The dancing human skeleton reoccurs in Book of Hours I as talk & statistics of death dominated the news.

Human skeletons

Human skeletons here include references to ancient, misguided images of anatomy in books, tomb stone carvings, art. Although human anatomy is an ancient science, it wasn’t until the Renaissance that the subject began to be regarded as an acceptable study.

A lightly drawn skeletal form

I was thinking about the Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti when I made this. He lived through critical times in the 20thC, living through both WWI & II. His brittle, elongated human sculpted forms seemed appropriate in the early lockdown – so fragile, ghostly, disappearing, but also elemental.


In late 1974 a nearly complete upright walking fossil skeleton was discovered in Ethiopia, thought to be female, young, but fully mature. This was a major archaeological find dating her to approx. 3.18m years old. She was named after the Lucy in The Beatles song ‘Lucy in the Stars with Diamonds’. Despite being only 3’6” (as opposed to my 5’10”), she is an ancestor, part of the human family. Her new name - christened by those that discovered her, makes her very real & current. So despite evolutionary differences, she & I are connected and the years between us fall away, although I am lucky enough to have lived probably three times as long as she did.