Friday, September 18, 2009

Large thinkings

Imagine if you will, an old collection of jars and containers in a museum, collected by a pre Victorian adventurer who ventured into the distant wilds with his butterfly net and optimistic nature. Imagine that he collected a number of specimens, labeled the jars and they now stand in a storage room, almost forgotten , their contents sealed inside by his own hand many years previously.
The collection is made up of these items.
1. A jar of dark murky brown liquid which has coagulated.
2. A large jar with a number of frogs squashed together in preservative.
3. A narrow bottle containing many fat engorged ticks.
4. A panel with dozens of flies pinned to it.
5. A notebook with sketches showing ungulates in various stages of disease and dying.
6. A series of medical drawings of suppurating sores.
7. A jar containing what looks like preserved hailstones.
8. A panel with a number of locusts pinned to it.
9. A jar containing an unnamed black substance.
10. A large jar containing a fetus of what seems to be a male human.
What would we deduce from this?
If we had nothing to lead us, what would it tell us?
I wonder how many jars of specimens are sitting in some museum storage with things we have no idea of? How many mysteries are there in old bottles?
Humans have collected many things and so many collections have been forgotten or never fully investigated. They were collected to advance knowledge and yet now they have been forgotten, their contents unknown, their stories lost to us. The very purpose they were supposed to serve now negated.
I shall be doing a series of drawings to illustrate this idea. Particularly the collection of 10 I found in the cellar below the east wing when I was looking for some Chateau Lafitte I knew I had seen there previously. I always send Hoarknockle down to do these things, but he had gone to bed with a head cold and I wanted to inspect the cellars myself.
Curious what one can find in old cellars. There are some rusty manacles hanging from chains I want Lady Sandra to try on one evening. I shall have to lure her down there on some clever pretext.
Hoarknockle has alerted me to the fact that my eggs benedict with some hollandaise sauce and a smidgen of caviar, awaits me in the solarium.

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