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Burial Works 


My long-term research as Senior Tutor (Research) at the Royal College of Art explores the socio-cultural dynamics and history of the house, its integrated environments, and associated beliefs and rituals. Drawing on archaeological theory, I work within an expanded field practice contextualised through ancient houses and ancient practices.


Antigone: powerless, young, female, resists authority to obey the ancient imperatives of piety and the law of the gods. Creon: autocrat, king, male, commits his living niece to the tomb leaving the dead above ground and unburied. By violating the ancient edict of life and death Creon’s abuse of power pollutes the city of Thebes, and now isolated he endures a suffering of his own creation. Yet Antigone, with her act of resistance and rebellion in the face of her own destruction, remains an iconic figure who compelled a patriarchal audience of 441BC (and beyond) to question their own values.


Interested in the ways that ideas of the present have come from past contexts, I consider the people who occupy/ied ancient spaces in recognition that what is happening now is a result of what has come before. The artworks presented here build on my ‘Memorial’ series of expanded paintings that reference my fieldwork in the ancient dwellings and necropolis of the Pompeii Archaeological site, and vernacular architecture in the South-East of England.


In these burial works I look specifically at ancient burial practices and rites of passage. The two works ‘Grave Marker’ and ‘Antigone’s Mausoleum’ are derived from an interred architectural scaled-model based on my former London home built then buried in my garden 3 years ago. Exhumed on the 29th May 2024 the excavated remains of my own home is un-built through decomposition. Simultaneously a destructive and creative force the act of burial has the potential to be restorative.


Liberated through the destruction of the object, and preserved and in an incomplete new form, ‘Grave Marker’ is rehoused in a coffin and ‘Antigone’s Mausoleum’ to a vitrine. As we live through a time of exceptional change Antigone, with its religious and political themes of conflict between generations, state and individual, male and female, brings solace as we look to the rise and fall of recurrent themes of the deep past.

Title: Antigone’s Mausoleum (2024)

Dimensions: 25(L) x 25(H) x 25(D)

Materials: Earth, Walnut Wood & Glass Vitrine

Antigone's Mausoleum Installation View, earth, wood, glass, 25x25x25cm_2024 copy.jpg

 ‘Antigone’s Mausoleum’ grave marker (2024) reads:

In Memory of Antigone, born of Oedipus and Jocasta

Buried alive in a rocky vault

by Creon, King of Thebes, uncle of Antigone

You ruthlessly lodged a living soul within the grave

Antigone's Mausoleum_detail.JPG
Antigone's Mausoleum_detail2.JPG

Title: Grave Marker (2024)

Dimensions: Dimensions Variable, as seen 70(L) x 32(H) x2 9(D)

Materials: Earth & Walnut Wood

Grave Marker_detail.JPG
Grave Marker_Epitaph.jpg
Grave Marker_Installation View_earth and walnut wood_2024.JPG
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