Postcard #9. Catacombs

Carol from Robina requested the catacombs and specifically mentioned how obsessed she was with skulls at the moment. The one thing that struck me when I visited Rome was all the decorations with bones. We visited the Capuchin monks tomb as well as the catacombs and they clearly spent a fair amount of their time decorating and arranging with bones. Unfortunately I was not allowed to photograph inside the tombs but I bought a few postcards of their designs and was inspired to decorate and arrange with bones in the same way as the monks had done.

I started with photographs of human bones and arranged them in Photoshop to spell out the word OSSA, which I’m reliably informed is Italian for bones. I used the negative space to spell the word because the overwhelming memory I have from all the tombs and catacombs was just HOW MANY bones these poor people had to contend with. I’m not surprised they took to decorating with them because the shapes and textures are just so interesting and when piled up endlessly, they are much more depressing. I really developed an appreciation for bones as decorative elements when taken out of the familiar context as a complete skeleton. My cousin Lizzie thought the whole thing was very gruesome, whereas I could see the beauty in the forms.



  1. Carol says:

    Hey Dom,

    I like what I see and I think my dog would like the bones.
    I laugh at the signs outside cemeteries that say ‘No Dogs’.


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