Peter Madden

b.1966

Crouches with moths

  • Purchased 2011
  • Found photographs, paper, wood, plastic, baked clay, paint, gold leaf
  • 830 x 700 x 500mm
  • 2011/225
  • 2010

In classical times, a gold coin was inserted into a dead person's mouth as a ‘Charon’s obol’, a ritualistic payment for the ferry ride across the river Acheron to the underworld. With its blackened skeleton, crawling flies and shroud-like canopy of moths (cut free from the pages of National Geographic magazines), this work evokes an atmosphere of death and decay – but a closer look also reveals small signs of regeneration.

(Unseen: The Changing Collection, 18 December 2015 – 19 June 2016)