We've always been fascinated by what we don't know. And one of the things that's always scared and obsessed us is death.
First, we learn in history class that what separates us from other mammals is that at one point we started to bury our dead. In other words, we ritualized death and paid our respects to the dead. There are practical and spiritual reasons behind this. Then there were scientific reasons, with autopsies contributing to our knowledge of the human body.
But it's not just about our own deaths. We study everything in nature and our fascination with death also reveals the collector in us.
In her work, artist Helen Gregory juxtaposes biological specimens with fancy, lovely, romantic backgrounds reminiscent of the Victorian era.
This overlapping of science and art is an interesting mix, revealing, I think, an aspect of our nature we don't often like to admit: something about death is also terrifyingly beautiful.
In an interview in the local blog Byward of Mouth, the artist said the exhibition "explore[s] notions of transience and permanence, nature and culture."
Unrequited Death is at the Museum of Nature all summer, closing on Sept 3. But I wouldn't wait so long to see it, especially on a day like today — museums are perfect when it rains.