70 x 7 The Meal act XXXI, Natural History Museum, London
Materials: Royal Limoges porcelain plate, platimum enamel. Piece unique, dated and signed by artists
Dimensions: 27cm diameter
Courtesy: Lucy + Jorge Orta
This Royal Limoges porcelain diner plate created by artists Lucy + Jorge Orta in 2010 forms part of an ongoing series entitled '70 x 7 The Meal', which unfolds in a series of 'acts'.
Act XXXI– is a unique design populated with the artists intricately drawn insect and flower species by Lucy + Jorge Orta. The artists began making these drawings on their return from an expedition to the Amazon, supported by the Natural History Museum London (2009). In the Amazon they spent 2-weeks accompanying scientists from the Institute from Environmental Change (Oxford University) on a research expedition to better understand the consequences of climate change on the flore and fauna.
They were fascinated to learn that many species become extinct even before they have been discovered and that extinction is a natural a natural cycle. However, the alarming rate of species disappearance today can be attributed to the impact of humans: the so-called Anthropocene. The consequences of this impact are expected to contribute to the sixth mass-extinction.
The imaginary flowers, butterflies and insects the artists have drawn on these plates point to the cycle of life, fragile specimens so miniscule to go unnoticed, or that simply disappear even before being discovered. They represent an underlying melancholy of the end of time, the hot breath of extinction. Yet, porcelain is a precious material, it records the beauty and wealth of our planet, past and present.
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