26 and 7 at BONE in London

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BONE: This summer (19 July – 31 August 2012) the Florence Nightingale Museum in London (SE1) is hosting ‘an eclectic exhibition of around 60 objects that explores the rich history and substance of bone, across cultures, throughout time and between disciplines … objects include an x-ray of Sigmund Freud’s head, a skull shaped candle made for Marilyn Manson’s wedding, cutting edge medical bone imaging and Florence Nightingale’s pet tortoise ‘Jimmy’.’

BONE is curated by Simon Gould and Rhiannon Armstrong with Mobile Studio Architects designing the exhibition structure which allows the objects to be viewed in powerful detail, as well as in relation to each other.

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BONE at Florence Nightingale Museumthat

Rhiannon invited me to be one of the ‘live respondents’ to this absorbing exhibition: to spend an afternoon (11th August) talking to visitors about the ’26 and 7 bones’ project  and contributing an object to leave in one of the cases for the remainder of the exhibition.

So ’26 and 7 bones’ contributed the two toe straighteners to one of the boxes – the ‘Smart Toe Implants’ made by Stryker UK Ltd – that Nick Savva, the Foot and Ankle Surgeon, gave to our project (as part of our collection of objects related to participants’ activity).

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Smart Toe Implants at BONE

Toe straighteners CUthat

And Rhiannon had the insightful idea to put one of the X-ray images (thank you Rammy Arafa, from Stryker for sending me those!) of how the implants are used in the toe joint, underneath.  The transparent cases make this possible, and a reward for the curious.

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Samrt Toe Implant photothat

The exhibition has a beautifully designed accompanying book astutely detailing each object.  One of the striking and refreshing things about BONE is that you can begin viewing the temporary collection from any point – there is no order or hierarchy.  And the objects are displayed with no interpretation – you look in the catalogue to find out more.

I also spent the afternoon sewing the names of the bones of the hand into a BONE guide – I wanted to make something with my own hand bones too, to leave.

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Lunate

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Red cotton for the bone marrow, red blood cells. And because of the way the pages of the guide work (each ‘page’ is split into three, so there are multiple relations within the book depending on which part of the page you turn, as well as between the objects on display), you can also make strange bone names – new configurations.

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Many thanks to Rhiannon Armstrong, Nick Savva and Rammy Arafa, South West Area rep for Stryker UK Limited.