Bones of skulls sculptures at home of a New Zealand artist – our life – culture


New Zealand artist Bruce Mahalski always wanted to work in a museum, and when his goals were not fulfilled, he set up a museum. The Museum of Natural Mystery, hosted by his villa in Dunedin, South Island, was an exhibition of lovers of discovery, due to his passion throughout his life collecting animal, biological and ethnic materials.

Skulls and bones in the museum were obtained from more than 300 species, and Mahalsky turned many of them into intricate sculptures. Mahalsky obtains most of the materials used in his artwork during his excursions for this purpose, as he goes to beaches, forests, and pastures. Others come from run over animals, as they leave carrion by the side of the road.

Hexagon from the bone

The artist, who holds a degree, who has the ability to recognize most of the bone quality at first sight, went through an experiment in the art of bone sculpting in 2005, when he made a “pistol of bone” for display at an anti-war exhibition. The cheap plastic machine guns also covered hundreds of small animal bones, as an expression of protest against children’s games about war, and the escalation of the so-called war on terror.

Since then, Mahalsky has specialized in bone work. Inspired by his ideas from the ancient displays of the Victorian era, he coordinates the bones of animals, including rabbits, possum, chicken, seals (calf), and fish fins, to produce stunning creatures or synthetic bone surfaces.

He uses bones like paint, puts them in layers, where he starts with the lower layers, and goes on to work on the thin upper layers that include small bones or bone dust.


Other notable things at the four-room museum include an extinct cave bear, an ancient painting by a famous New Zealand assassin, and a local mental hospital during the 1920s.

Then there is a sculpted clay sculpture, which is said to have been damaged by an evil spirit within the Art School in New Zealand’s capital Wellington, and a cow skull protrudes a century from the center of its head like a unicorn.

He said: “I think every person has to create a museum in his home … all you have to do is put some stickers on things and open the door for people.”

And while things like skulls tell their own story, the simple dinner plate can be interesting, he said: “I have a dish supposedly for John Clark, the last man in England to be hanged after he stole sheep in 1830. Perhaps it wasn’t Really his, but I think it is him, however, it is an interesting story, and I love telling the stories. ”

Exquisite skulls

Many bones see something else, but Mahalsky sees them as “very beautiful and pure,” and he says: “You cannot make improvements to a skull … the skulls are very exquisite in their creation.” For him, bones are not a symbol of death, but a constant reminder of life. ” And among the diversity in mystery, there are also some human bones.

“I am not deviating from my behavior in collecting human bones,” Mahalsky said. “But my physicians’ friends have given me a few of them over the years, all of which are ancient medical samples or illustrations, used in teaching.”

He added: “I try to be very careful about the way I display human bones in the museum, because some cultures, such as Māori culture, the indigenous people of New Zealand, have a firm belief that the human spirit is still linked to the remains after death.” But for Mahaski, the gorilla or lion skull is more interesting, and more special than a human skull.

“I have no respect for the beliefs of other cultures, but on a personal level, I believe that humans are animals, and this is a popular belief,” Mahalsky said.

Ethical considerations

He added that there are many ethical considerations that govern the collection of bones and their use in the production of artwork. He explained: “I try as much as possible to be a respected man, and not to change the bones in any way by drawing or sculpting them.” Many of Mahalsky’s works are related to the idea that humans are an integral part of the natural world, and they have no right to demand a separate special status.

“Our current separation from nature is the main cause of many of our current problems,” Mahalsky said, adding that by trying to merge human bones, he is trying to “break the invisible barrier between being an animal and being a human being.” “We are all animals,” he concluded.

all night long

For people who cannot get around the museum adequately during the hours when it is open to the public, they can stay overnight in a room in the back. Mahalsky said that he has only received good reactions so far, as no one has spoken of any ghosts of people or animals.

Everyone has to create a museum in their home, all you have to do is put some stickers and open the door for people.

Another notable thing in the 4-room museum is an extinct cave bear jaw, an old painting by a famous New Zealand assassin, and a local mental hospital.




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