Field David Cotterrell, 2003
West Square (detail) Clare Bryan, 2003
Exhumed explored notions of storytelling, ancestry, memory and interpretation of history. Taking as its starting point the histories of the 26,000 famous, infamous and anonymous bodies held in the grounds of the museum (a deconsecrated church), Exhumed featured 24 artists practising in a range of disciplines and media. Artists focused on well-known figures like Captain William Bligh, the John Tradescants and the Slade family as well as those bodies for whom little or no evidence remains.
Artists participating in the exhibition included: Orla Barry, Suky Best, Cleo Broda, Clare Bryan, Michael Buchanan, Lisa Cheung, David Cotterrell, Phil Coy, Pascal-Michel Dubois, Peter Dukes, Oona Grimes, Stephen Healy, Sophie Horton, Tom Humphreys, Sophie Lascelles, Lynne Marsh, Lisa Z. Morgan, Mr & Mrs Ivan Morison, Paulette Phillips, Kate Scrivener, Finlay Taylor, Adam Thompson, Shane Waltener and Sarah Woodfine.
The exhibition was accompanied by a publication featuring two commissioned essays from Tiffany Jenkins, Institute of Ideas, and Jon Newman, Lambeth Archives, which explore attitudes to death and the disposal of human remains from ethical, religious and historical perspectives. The catalogue also documents all commissioned artworks in the exhibition.
A series of workshops with the pupils of Walnut Tree Walk School and a talk outlining the aims of the exhibition, chaired by Tiffany Jenkins, accompanied the exhibition.
Supported by Arts Council England, Lambeth Arts, The Cross River Partnership, The London Development Agency, The Museum of Garden History, Lux, St George, Canada Council for the Arts, Vivd and the British Film Institute.