‘The Pharmaceutical Bestiary’ (London, UK, November 2008)

I have always been fascinated by the medieval obsession with the Bestiarum vocabulum – or Bestiary. An illustrated encyclopedia of animals (real, believed and imagined) where the hand painted illustration would be accompanied by a moral lesson. The lessons of a pious and virtuous life, or fears of divine retribution, were tied to the real world experiences of the known and the unknown world of imagined and foreign beasts. There was also the crossover from moralism to medication – the bestiary could also describe the possible pharmacological uses of animals and their by-products. My Pharmaceutical Bestiary is like a small, personal, contemporary equivalent. An individual rail against the presumed scientific authority of the mental health business and the moralistic approach taken by government over the differences between approved (taxable) and unapproved (untaxable) medications that individuals self-prescribe as a comfort against society’s dysfunction.
Exhibition held at the Vyner Street Gallery in London by Red Propeller.

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One thought on “‘The Pharmaceutical Bestiary’ (London, UK, November 2008)

  1. I have a suspicion that the Chinese people as a whole are PRE bestiary in their culinary ‘medicaments’! David


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