Upcoming Events

‘Bodies in Pieces: Representations of the Human Body in Visual Arts’ Lecture by Ola Wojtkiewicz

  • Where? National Galleries of Scotland, Hawthornden Theatre
  • When? Tuesday 14th August, 12.45-1.30pm

Art historian Ola Wojtkiewicz will consider representations of the human body and fragmented bodies – both during and after life – in the context of National Galleries of Scotland displays. The talk will cover Jenny Saville’s compelling paintings of flesh, Christine Borland’s installation inspired by cutting-edge transplant surgery, a curious collection of 19th-century phrenological heads and the uniquely intimate self-portrait by Angela Palmer. A history of the bodies in art is not complete without reference to religious representation of martyred bodies in works by 16th and 17th-century old masters. This talk is presented in parallel with the exhibition Dead Images exhibition.

Film Screening

  • When? Thursday,23rd August, 11am-1pm
  • Where? Edinburgh College of Art Cinema Space (Room O.25 Hunter Building)
  • Registration? Click here  to register and get your free ticket

UK premier of the film ‘Trapped in a Human Zoo: Based on Abraham’s Diary‘ will be held in partnership with the Dead Images project. The film builds on research from France Rivet, who was interviewed as part of Dead Images and features in the exhibition. France will be present for the screening and the film will be followed by an open discussion about the themes addressed.

Relive the incredible story of two Labrador Inuit families, who in 1880, lured by promises of adventures and wealth, embarked for Europe to become the latest attraction in the now-forgotten world of ethnographical shows (also known as “human zoos”). Soon, the Inuit realized their mistake and longed to return home. Sadly, none of them did: All eight died from smallpox less than four months after setting foot in Europe. If not for one small diary written by a member of the group named Abraham, their tragic story would have been forgotten forever. More than 130 years later a French-Canadian, France Rivet, not only discovered this fascinating story, but also located the remains of the Inuit in the vaults of a museum in Paris. Then begins her quest, as well as that of Nunatsiavut President Johannes Lampe, to discover the whole truth and to repatriate their bones.”

Traveller, photographer, writer and researcher, France Rivet is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society, and founder of Polar Horizons, an enterprise that is dedicated to making the Arctic, its nature, people and history better known. Her book “In the Footsteps of Abraham Urikab” reveals the results of her four-year research to demystify the events surrounding the death, in Europe in 1880–1881, of eight Labrador Inuit who were being exhibited in ethnographical shows.Her work is featured in the documentary “Trapped in a Human Zoo,” which aired on CBC’s The Nature of Things with David SuzukiIn 2017, France was nominated by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television for the Barbara Sears Award for Best Editorial Research (TV).

Director Guilhem Rondot giving instructions to Kerstin Kownak (Nugassak), Julie Ivalu (Paingu) and Michael Singoori (Tigianniak)


Exhibition Tours (drop in, no need to book)

July: weekly, Tuesdays,12pm-12.45pm

August: twice-weekly, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 12pm-12.45pm

Lunchtime Talks

A series of lunchtime talks held in the info lounge at Dead Images at the Edinburgh College of Art, expanding on issues raised in the exhibition.

  • Tuesday 7th August, 12pm-1pm – ‘Rethinking skull collections through colour’ by Joan Smith
  • Tuesday 14th August, 12.45pm-1.30pm, ‘Bodies in Pieces: Representations of the Human Body in Visual Arts’ by Ola Wojtkiewicz at the National Galleries of Scotland
  • Wednesday 15th August, 12pm-1pm – ‘First findings on Visitor Engagement at the Dead Images Exhibition’ by Callum Fisher
  • Wednesday 22nd August 12pm-1pm – In conversation: Dr John Harries & Dr Linda Fibiger ‘Searching for the person within – Anthropological and bioarchaeological reflections on skeletal identities’