Life Writing & Death: Dialogues of the Dead. Creative Section

Afterlife Writing and Situation of Graves II


  • Jane Wildgoose King's College London



archive, grave, craniology, museum


This article discusses my practice as an artist and researcher examining the situation and significance of graves. First, in a site-specific installation at West Norwood Cemetery in South London, talking with visitors about whether it matters where human remains are deposited; secondly, in exhibitions at the Crypt Gallery St. Pancras and Lumen Crypt Gallery in Bethnal Green, presenting evidence of the historical circumstances in which human remains were appropriated from graves in the colonies, for the purposes of research into racial ‘science’ in museums during the late nineteenth century.

Author Biography

Jane Wildgoose, King's College London

Jane Wildgoose is an artist and researcher and Visiting Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Life-Writing Research at King’s College London. Her practice centres on collecting, memory and remembrance. She works to commission with museums and has exhibited at Kensington Palace (Historic Royal Palaces), Waddesdon Manor (Rothschild Collections/National Trust) and Sir John Soane’s Museum in the UK and the Yale Center for British Art in the USA. Her recent publications include ‘Post-Specimens and Present Ancestors: Passing Fables & Comparative Readings at The Wildgoose Memorial Library—An Artist’s Response to the “Unique Status” of Postcolonial Human Remains in Museums.’ In: Edward Juler and Alistair Robinson (eds.), Post-Specimen: Interobjective Encounters in Art, Science and Museology. Bristol: Intellect Books, forthcoming, 2020.





Life Writing & Death: Dialogues of the Dead. Creative Section