Gorgeously Creepy Chapel Made Of Thousands Of Human Bones

human bones church

human bones church

human bones church

human bones church

Though it might look like any other Polish chapel from the outside, the Kaplica Czaszek chapel sets itself apart: behind a humble pair of wooden doors, it contains the bones of thousands. After visiting shallow grave sites commemorating the fallen soldiers and civilians killed in the Silesian Wars, the Thirty Years’ War, plagues, and cholera, a local priest named Vaclav Tomasek collected and cleaned skeletal remains, embedding them in the chapel walls.

Constructed between 1776 and 1804, the building’s architecture stunningly deconstructs the human skeleton; skulls and leg bones are meticulously arranged over the ceilings and walls, while other bones are hidden behind a trapdoor and kept in a crypt. The repetitive patterns that emerge from a single human bone laid out a thousand times over serves to remind us of our connectedness; while each individual femur or cranium stands in for a deceased individual, it takes on a deeper, more universal meaning as part of this expertly-constructed whole.

Within this celebration of oneness, Tomasek set apart strange and unusual bones, placing them on the church altar. Alongside the skull of a mayor and the chapel founder, sits a skull morphed by syphilis, one of a rumored giant, and a few penetrated by bullets. In this way, the structure daringly elevates the macabre—and those who suffered from uncommon maladies—to the spiritual level of relics left behind by local religious and political leaders.

Within the context of the church and its representations of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ, the remains offer a potent juxtaposition between the spiritual and the corporeal. Visitors cannot escape this powerful reminder of mortality, but if they so wish, they are poignantly invited to consider the possibility of salvation and eternal life. (via Lost at E Minor and Smithsonian Magazine)

Francois Robert Juxtaposes Bones And Symbols Of Violence And War

symbols of war symbols of war

symbols of war

symbols of war

Human bones, any bones, are signifiers of death, decay- in more poetic terms- the ephemerality of life.

Photographer Francois Robert uses the powerful symbolism that accompanies human bones to create ‘Stop the Violence’ – an eerie but important series of photographs that juxtaposes bones and iconic words/symbols that in some way or another have generated deaths and violence (i.e wars, rifles, handguns, 9/11, knives, the KKK,etc)

In my photographs, I use the human skeleton as the formal visual element, the subject of the image. In this manner, the skeleton is both the protagonist and antagonist (the Buddhist notion about, “the duality of man” seems apt).

For each photograph, the artists dissembles and rearranges the bones in order to reconfigure the elements to form what you see here.

I intend the images to plant the notion of restraint and charity in an effort to promote peace and tolerance.

 

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Kate Tucker’s Colorblock Paintings

Artist Kate Tucker’s work has amazing colorblock layering in her pattern pieces, as well as her more representational works. She has intricate drawings and bold paintings that together are seriously impressive. Her series “Counterfeit Sanctity’ has tons of versions of the same drawing in different color, pattern, and media that are mesmerizing when seen together.