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Extinct Icons & Ritual Burials

22 November 201710 December 2017

Embroidery titled 'The Witch of St Kilda' by Katie Time

This exhibition explores the role of ritual in acknowledging biodiversity loss, and is timed to coincide with Remembrance Day for Lost Species 2017. Extinct Icons by Katie Tume, AKA Mother Eagle, pays homage to some of the most famous extinct species – persecuted in their lifetime, but revered and worshipped in death, like martyrs.

embroidery of fox

Ritual Burials, the second series by Mother Eagle, explores the age old practice of ritually honouring animals in life and death, and invites the viewer to consider how the sacred place those animals once held has now changed. Inspired by ancient Celtic burial rites, the composition of each piece suggests a burial ground where the spirit of each animal is honoured with plants, symbols and runes.

By displaying ‘junk’ insect specimens from the Booth Museum alongside these works, we are attempting to honour the individual within the collection. In questioning the idea of ‘junk’ we reflect on the tension between the impulse to categorise and the experience of the unknowable.

Alongside the Icons and the Junk is installation work by Clare Whistler, photography by Megan Powell, textiles by OX Art, sculpture by Hannah Battershell, and poetry by Lynne Shapiro, Megan Hollingsworth, Sol Howard, Hannah Aston and Susan Richardson. Ellie Liddell-Crewe, ONCA’s outreach artist, made Lost Species art with young people from St John’s SEN College and Brighton Pupil Referral Unit. Their work will be on display in the last week of the exhibition.

ONCA acknowledges the erasure of many forms of ritual and indigenous knowledge by violent acts and structures that continue in Brighton and around the world today. In the context of a dominant culture that lacks structures for reflection and rest, we hope you can find space here to contemplate these works by artists who, in widely differing ways, use ritual as inspiration for approaching the difficult subject of deaths and harm to bio/diversity, and to heal and transform.


  • Launch event: 6-9pm Thursday 23 November
  • Embroidery masterclasses with Katie Tume: Saturday 25 November (sold out) and 2 December (book here – one space left!)
  • Stories and art for children: 2-3.30pm, Sundays 26 November, 3 December & 10 December
  • Remembrance Day for Lost Species: Procession for Lost Pollinators. Bat mask making for children and families 4-5.30pm then gather in the gallery for procession at 6pm, 30 November
  • Panel discussion: 6.30-8.30pm, Monday 4 December. “Daring to Hope” – Free – book here
  • Artist talk: Aviva Rahmani on art, activism and earth rights, 6.30-8pm Thursday 7 December – tickets £4.50 – book here.

BSL access video made by Louise Gibson and Jill Blackadder


22 November 2017
10 December 2017
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ONCA Gallery
14 St George's Place
Brighton, East Sussex BN1 4GB United Kingdom

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