Today I am giddy with the found poetry of the names of endangered British species. A member of the Arts & Ecology ning has posted news of an imaginative new artwork by the Ultimate Holding Company collective in Manchester. extInked starts on November 19 November 12 as an exhibition of drawings of 100 endangered species from the UK. From November 26 tattooists start to ink those drawings onto the skin of 100 volunteers. Each illustrated person then becomes an "ambassador" for the threatened species their body plays host to. The exhibition has been arranged with the support of the Marine Conservation Society, Buglife - the Invertebrate Conservation Trust and the People's Trust for Endangered Species.
The announcement of the exhibition came with the full list of the 100 species that the artwork was focussing on:
Scarlet Malachite Beetle
Wormwood Moonshiner Beetle
We tattoo our skin with the names of our loved ones. This artwork seems to question how much we love these declining species. ExtInct makes me think of the project the writer and journalist Caspar Henderson has been working on, The Book of Barely Imagined Beings - The Anthropocene extinction, human imagination, and what comes next. In his explanation for the project he comes out with a brilliant phrase which has stuck in my head ever since I first read it:
Most real creatures that we think we know embody wonders we have hardly dreamt of.
Read more about extInked., (includes the full list of 100 species.)