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weird things i've seen

I didn't think there was anyone around the studio over the hoildays, but apparently there were some very quiet Korean artists inserting little people into our dusty corners. Yesterday I walked into one of the jail cells to find this floating in mid-air:



I saw some beautifully spooky ghosts wearing masks in the next cell, but eerily my camera battery ran out just as I went to photograph them.
Then this bus rumbled by today as I was out shopping, with its shadowy conductor dolefully ringing a bell. The effect was striking, and part of what, in London, makes me feel like I'm constantly living on a film set.



I just looked up the London Necrobus and read its intriguing history:

The Necropolis Bus Company began in the 19th century as a private funeral bus service. The Necropolis vehicles or ‘Carcass Coaches’ as they were known to Londoners were able to convey the deceased, pall bearers and up to 50 mourners (no standing) to the final resting place. Each bus had an onboard conductor/chief mourner and a special siren or ‘mourning whistle’ to warn pedestrians of the bus’s approach. The sound of the whistle prompted gentlemen to remove their hats and bow their heads as a mark of passing respect.

Regular service ran until 1967 when a tragic fire at the company depot in South Dulstead razed the building to the ground and destroyed almost the entire fleet of buses. Only one vehicle was salvaged from the ashes and was locked in a storage facility for 40 years. It has now been restored to its original design and is operated by NECROBUS as a sightseeing service in central London.

The bus is painted in the company’s traditional colour of midnight black. The interior seating is arranged in ‘railway style’ for comfort and so that passengers can grieve openly and offer condolences to each other. Decorative features include lamps and window curtains, which were always drawn if a coffin was stored in the vehicle overnight. This is based on the superstition that a departed spirit might be trapped by its own reflection in the glass and would be unable to pass on to the other world. It also helped to keep the bodies cool in the summer months.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
ginasketch
Jan. 9th, 2010 09:13 pm (UTC)
The figures remind me of the Brother's Quay work.
jabberworks
Jan. 9th, 2010 09:16 pm (UTC)
I was even more intrigued by the tiny people in the little wisps of dust in the cell's corners; they were so small I could barely see them, but when I got right down and looked at them, they were incredibly detailed. A couple of them were locked in combat with dead insects.
ginasketch
Jan. 9th, 2010 09:21 pm (UTC)
Haha, fantastic.

The first thing that made me think of was this:

http://www.pbfcomics.com/?cid=PBF243-The_Shrink_Ray.gif
jabberworks
Jan. 9th, 2010 09:25 pm (UTC)
Hee hee! That's great! :D
wilburonline
Jan. 10th, 2010 11:13 am (UTC)
i love these! more pics would be greatly appreciated.
what are they made of?
ginasketch
Jan. 9th, 2010 09:27 pm (UTC)
OOh. Just realized the Old Police Station isn't far from New Cross rail. I may have a peek tomorrow if I have time. Looks like that's when the exhibition ends.

I'm glad it's not too far from the rail. I walked to New Cross last weekend and got followed by two guys who just wouldn't go away...eep!
yfrontninja
Jan. 9th, 2010 09:51 pm (UTC)
That is really, really neat!
ryclaude
Jan. 9th, 2010 10:08 pm (UTC)
Man it's like something out of a robert rankin novel
xiann
Jan. 11th, 2010 03:20 am (UTC)
OK I definitely want to sign up for the Necrobus tour!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )