Franklin's Bones - Mixed Media Assemblage 22"W x 12"D x 8"H
The box was built from old fence boards, hand cut dovetails - no nails or screws.
Hardware was fashioned from scrap copper plumbing pipe . All but five of the of
the bones are actually sticks harvested from the beach.
The five bones used are elk and deer.
Map of the Northwest Passage -1826
Image transfer on plaster
Bones and found sticks with encaustic coating.
Box is lined with lead.
Franklin's Epitaph - written by Tennyson
Pounded into flattened copper plumbing pipe.
The hull of the Terror was clad with copper plate.
Rear-Admiral Sir John Franklin was a British Royal Navy officer and Arctic explorer. In 1845 a lavishly equipped two-ship expedition led by Franklin sailed to the Canadian Arctic to chart the last unknown swaths of the Northwest Passage. During the first winter the HMS Terror and HMS Erebus both became frozen in the ice. In 1847, Franklin and the majority of his 129 man crew perished from starvation, pneumonia, lead poisoning and scurvy. Although some of the crew may not have died until the early 1850s, no evidence has ever been found of any survivors. Examination of recovered remains confirm reports first made by John Rae in 1854 based on Inuit accounts that cannibalism was a last resort for some of the crew.
Many artifacts from the expedition have been found over the last century and a half, including the frozen bodies of three seamen exhumed from the permafrost of Beechey Island. Franklin's Bones (the art piece) is meant to honour and bring to life the legend of Sir John Franklin through the spirit of his bones.