The skull is an internationally recognized symbol for death and mortality; a sign of warning and the fragile nature of life. It’s cultural context varying around the world. It can be a sign of solidarity and unity for the outcast tough guys; pirates, Hells Angels and even Nazi’s. A connotation of melancholy for Shakespeare and his contemporaries. A symbol for the Mexican holiday, Day of the Dead. Or even an Elizabethan emblem for bawds, rakes and prostitutes that would be worn as rings. Which ever way the skull has been depicted over the years, it has become an icon in itself.
In recent years the skull has escaped it’s sinister association to become a thing of beauty. The late Alexander McQueen revitalized and re-introduced the skull to current popular fashion in the early 2000s. The provocative skull imagery sweetened with bright colours and silky fabric sent fashionistas wild, itching to get their grubby hands on his skull-jacquard silk scarfs or Britannia skull clutch bags. Damien Hirst furthered the lust for skulls and proved his status in the arts world with ‘For the Love of God’ – a diamond encrusted platinum skull that sold for a spine tingling £50 million! Damien Hirst’s diamond skull became hypermodern and Dwell quickly copied, making an affordable diamante encrusted skull statement centerpiece for the home – it’s no pocket change at £199. Skulls, bones and even organs have been transformed in to a variety of house hold pieces in materials that you’d never expect. Below is my pick of the best anatomically inspired home-wares.
Various Mugs, all Kuehn Keramik
Pavilion of Natural History vase (left), Skull Candle holder (right) – all, Virbent
Flower Pump – Veneri Design
Wig Vase – Tania da Cruz Design
Beware of the moon, bronze flock skulls on oil slick wallpaper. Rockett St George
Vintage Rose Skull Tapestry Cushion Kit, Jan Constantine (left). Skull Stein Glass, Heals (right).
But, the company that has cornered this market with her design and originality is medical Illustrator, and friend, Emily Evans. Based in London UK, Emily is also a Senior Demonstrator of Anatomy at Cambridge University, Councillor of the Medical Artists’ Association of Great Britain, & Anatomy enthusiast!
Emily says dissection was the favourite part of her degree so she merged the two loves of anatomy and art and trained as a medical illustrator in 2002, now she gets to draw anatomy every day, it’s my ‘dream job’. Since then, Emily’s business has grown from strngth to strenth and in 20