The Bovossuary is an investigation into consumption, morality and ethics. It has been created for a personal journey of discovery; which started with a question that took me on a journey from genealogy to mass production via ethics, morality and consumption.
Historically, my home town of Northampton was the ‘leather H.Q.’ due to the open-land, river Nene and the abundance of oak trees. This of course, lead to the shoe industry where a number of my ancestors were leatherworkers in the shoe trade. On a trip to purchase leather I started to wonder if leather was, or could be ethical, which also lead me to question Veganism, organic farming, fast-foods and fast-fashion. I also looked into the biggest beef exporter - which is India, and the religious feuds and implications this creates.
I wondered why there’s so much waste in the world, and where does the rest of the cow go?
I started to create a list. Along with a huge list of dairy products, we use the meat and turn the skin into leather, the fat is turned into tallow - some of this goes into cosmetics, lipstick, body creams, gelatine, candles, latex, soap, toothpaste even jet fuel. The bones produce gelatine and bone ash is used to produce bone china. Cattle also give us life-saving medicine such as insulin, blood thinners, osteoarthritis medication, steroids and collagen, and this list is not complete. This historic animal has, through history, been a source of food, clothing, medicine and so much more but as consumers we have become detached from the source.
The installation is based on an aspirational spatial environment to highlight our appetite for consumption and our need to buy ‘the perfect life’ - but at what cost? The room is full of hidden messages to emphasise biased information delivered by retailers. You will also find hints to pause in this room designed for self reflection.
My aim isn’t to suggest a correct course of action, or to force a particular set of values. My aim is just to encourage participants to ask questions; what are things are made of, where do they come from and where do they go? What could then be done with this awareness? Could this increase compassion, and empathy or perhaps even change how we live, shop and recycle both products and information? Within the Bovossuary everyone will have their own individual journey, and will include a variety of reactions.
If you have visited this environment, and would like additional information, click here.
Thank you for your participation.