Amazing Offbeat
art paintings

By Charles Wade-Palmer 

A British artist has advertised for a terminally ill person to donate their ASHES to his art paintings.

Kieran Crowder makes paintings from furnace waste – much of it collected from the crematorium where he worked when he was a teenager in the 1970s.

But now he’s looking for a living person to agree to let him use their remains as part of an artwork after they’re gone.

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An advert placed in The Times today reads: ‘Wanted: UK artist requires human cremated remains for use in an ongoing art project.’

Kieran said: “It’s an unusual request, but I’ve been working with these materials one way or another for a period of forty years.

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“In my artwork I use the anonymous leftovers that were swept out of the furnaces every weekend, saving them from being discarded in a pond at the back of the building.

“I turned these into a very personal art project called HERE LIES, which in our era of so-called ‘post-truth’, I am now determined to publicise and develop.

“In order to do this on the scale I envisage, it’s not surprising I need more materials.

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“It’s exactly the same principle as donating your body to science, so I hope no-one is too troubled by my appeal for contributions.”

Kieran, from London, first got his ideas for using bits of burned bone while working a summer job at a Merseyside crematorium that his father managed.

Now in collaboration with Turner Fine Arts, Kieran hopes to meet his greatest challenge yet – persuading someone still living to sign their mortal remains to him for when they pass away.

Stephen Turner of Turner Fine Arts, said, “Kieran uses ashes for profound reasons and the proof of that is in this wonderful collection of work that he is now ready to show to the world.

“He would like to develop his art, among other things by finding a potential donor. If that person wanted to talk to Kieran, together with their family perhaps, I think it would be wonderful.

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“It is to be hoped by advertising for contributors in newspapers worldwide, some brave souls are going to come forward.

“Kieran’s father was manager of a crematorium that Kieran worked in as a youngster and part of his duties was to clean the cremators where all sorts of material accumulated over time.

“These leftovers were quietly discarded, but Kieran being Kieran thought it was a shame these leftovers should just be thrown away – a waste of the waste, if you like.

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“Kieran decided to incorporate them into his art, bone fragments, burnt metal, the lot.

“This action has resulted in a body of work like nothing there has ever been before.”