Bone Bed

Bone Bed

Bone Bed


Sarah Davis: Bone Bed, 2023, cast bronze, 53 x 70mm. Cast by Mould Making UK

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Sarah Davis (b. 1990) is a multimedia artist using hands-on sculptural techniques to explore the cyclical nature of recovery and renewal. She uses traditional approaches with a deep historical resonance, such as wood carving, wax modelling and bronze casting. She pulls on many sources of inspiration. Her autobiographical approach has led to a rich body of research into ancient medical iconography, which is often combined with modern medical ephemera. The natural world in combination with classical myth and allegory also serves as a deep pool of enquiry. The shedding of snake skin, the hatching of eggs and the short life of the octopus are all cycles that exist within nature. These various narrative threads are woven into her work as a means of thinking about how we can navigate our own relationship with pain, healing and mortality.

About her BAMS medal, the artist writes: ‘Bone Bed captures a succinct moment of life and death. The title is taken from the geological term ‘Bone bed’, which refers to any terrestrial or marine stratum containing an abundance of bones. The bones contained within the obverse are inspired by the oldest known fossilized dinosaur embryo, laid roughly 190 million years ago. The reverse with its gently domed surface is the egg intact, as if just laid and undamaged by eons of fossilization. I was inspired by the concept of the medal as a container for a small world. When turning this medal in the hand, I wanted to convey the vastness of time but also the fragility of life. Fossils tend to be incredibly fragile and are rarely extracted in full; the medium of the medal functions as the ideal container for the creature’s eternal sleep.’