Welcome to Osteography

Sketchbook Page 6: Third Eye

Recent News

A NEW podcast of poet AB Jackson and myself  discussing The Paper Museum: my recent exhibition at Graves Gallery, Sheffield can be listened to here:

The Paper Museum 

Osteography readers might also be interested in my two new blogs/online sketchbooks:



The focus of both blogs remains on human-animal relationships; with drawings and other works that have been created in response to more ‘fleshy’ themes …

Any comments will be most welcome.

Welcome to Osteography …

What connects a mollusc with the organs of a human being to a detailed set of instructions for defleshing a unicorn?

What links an erotic carving on the tooth of a hare with a life-sized drawing of the head of an Egyptian god?

I am Paul Evans and this blog features work that was undertaken during my Leverhulme Trust Artist’s residency at Cardiff University School of History and Archaeology. It also acts as a repository of further work that I have undertaken since. I hope that you will find my writing to be of interest and that you will be encouraged to return – new postings are added regularly. I have also posted images of selected drawings made over the last year or so in the Sketchbook Pages. For more examples of my work on somewhat different themes please visit www.origin09.org, www.origin011.org and www.pkevans.co.uk.

I have now posted 61 drawings in the Sketchbook and there are 17 sets of reflections on various ideas (some recurring) within the Bone Room Meditations. I have also amassed something of a body of ‘physical evidence’ that connects the elements (and many others) described above through various archaeological narratives that I am developing here; I hope that you will enjoy the process of unravelling some of their intricacies.

I am very grateful to a good friend of mine, Lewis Longbarrow, for bringing a number of these narrative threads together into three short stories. The first is entitled Enda’s Island, the second The Pit of Libations and the third The Archipelago.

One of my aims for this blog is to offer a flavour of the energy and enthusiasm that I have encountered in the department – and a taste of the breadth, depth and strangeness of archaeological speculation and enquiry. Can there be anywhere else where, on a given day, an artist could wander from room to room and be offered a bronze age axe head to hold whilst speculating on the purpose of other tiny, more crudely made, axe heads from the same site; discuss the problems of whale bone identification; marvel at the upper arm bone of a mole and the strange muscle attachments that allow this tiny digging machine to function with such amazing power and efficiency; and then discuss arrangements for an experimental cremation requiring the procurement of a sacrificial lamb from the valleys?

The drawings that I have made, both during my residency and since, are based on studies of animal bones. These drawings vary in scale from massive sperm whale skeletons to tiny mouse bones. Many artists have noticed the strange intrinsic beauty within these structures, but it is through the archaeological narrative that the story of our timeless relationship to other species takes form; this residency – and my ongoing relationship with the department – has offered the perfect opportunity to creatively explore the connections between human and animal, culture and biology.

I have very much enjoyed investigating the complexities of this narrative with members of the Cardiff Osteological Research Group.

I would like to thank the Leverhulme Trust for supporting Cardiff University in creating this wonderful opportunity and staff and postgraduate students from SHARE that have offered such a warm welcome. I would particularly like to thank Dr Jacqui Mulville for her support, enthusiasm and expert knowledge.

For further information on the creative process that has led up to this point in my career then please visit www.origin09.org

I very much welcome your comments!

Paul Evans

§ 3 Responses to Welcome to Osteography

  • Paul Pettitt says:

    Good stuff. The victorians in particular ‘overdid’ the artistic effort put into illustrating bones -see for example the wonderful drawings of hyaena and other animals from Kirkdale and Paviland caves in William Buckland’s ‘Reliquae Diluvianae’ of 1823.

  • Tim Wess says:


    Great to have you on board, look forward to working with you and a creative use of our atrium in Optometry and Vision Sciences.

  • Hi Paul,
    I’m looking forward to seeing your work produced during this residency, especially if it’s as good as the life sized sperm whale that you drew in Gainsborough.
    I had a great tutor at Sheffield called Malcolm Whittaker who was inspired to study fossils for his art. You can see his work at this web address:

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